Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Other Side of Homosexuality: A Sister's Heart

"...But you were washed clean, you were made holy, and you were made right with God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 
1 Corinthians 6:11


Let me just say something first. This blog could have been written out of deep hurt several years ago or even a couple of days ago and torn apart a beautiful relationship that exists, one that still exists today. But instead of writing based on feeling or emotion, I was careful to prayerfully consider how I might write on this extremely personal, fragile and extremely controversial topic. So I write today out of a place of love and understanding.

First of all I want to state that in no way do I harbor any hate or resentment towards anyone that is of the homosexual orientation. Do I disagree with the mentality? Yes I do. Unfortunately, this automatically dumps me into a hater category and for some people they may stop reading right here. The point of this post is to post a point of view that is hardly understood in that culture. One that is immediately dismissed in the minds of those who do not consider themselves spiritual at all. 


"People who do not have God’s Spirit do not accept the things that come from his Spirit. They think these things are foolish. They cannot understand them, because they can only be understood with the Spirit’s help." 1 Corinthians 2:14

You might be thinking, "Then what qualifies you to even blog about such a topic?" Well I am a sister of a man that has been living in the homosexual life for the last 12 years. That fact alone qualifies me as an expert on writing the effect it has on a spirit-filled Christian sister. Everything I write today is no surprise to him, as I have already had these conversations with him. Do I write this for my brother and point out his flaws or imperfections or bash him in anyway to the public? No, I write this for those sisters, aunts, mothers, grandmothers and those who have witnessed a family member embrace a culture that we adamantly believe is downright sin. I know that is a bold statement to make, but please understand I am speaking truth, my truth and my story. I hope for some it might encourage others out there to not give up hope on their family members as I have certainly not given up hope on my brother. 



I know he will read this with concern and hesitation so to him directly I want to say: I love you so very much, beyond anyone ever possibly could. I love you with a love that never fails. A love given to me by the God of love. It hasn't always been easy to love you, just like my husband or children at times, but it is a daily choice I make each and every day and one I don't regret. Please know that I will always be here for you and nothing, not even sexual orientation can rip the love, me, your only sissy can ever give you, away.  

Now to those of you who might be in a similar situation as I am, I want to encourage you to NEVER stop loving those family members that are difficult to love. In fact Satan may even encourage you to write them off, give them a piece of your mind and shun them from your children as if they were a plague. I know I have been there! But, that is only a tactic to separate the family, to isolate the one who has gone astray so they feel there is nothing to return to. 

If the person is being mean and hurtful a little distance might help, but prayer goes a long way. Never give up praying for them. It's been 12 years but I am not giving up on hope, never have and never will. God gave me a vision for my brother and showed me what his life might be like reconciled to Him about a year after he "came out". I shared it with him then and believe it to this day now. This culture needs a missionary in this mission field. There is no greater impact a man can make for the kingdom of God than one who has lived and experienced this lifestyle. If you don't have a vision for your loved one, ask God to give you one! Start praying for it! God is not done with that person until they have drawn their last breath! So I believe every single day that we are alive on this planet is a chance to get it right. Every single day is a chance someone, somewhere might minister to that loved one and say just the right thing to help them make that turnaround. Everyday is a chance for the Holy Spirit to work behind the scenes. 

God sees every tear you've cried over that person. He's seen every sleepless night, every time you fell on the floor and cried face-down or stood in your living room to cast out any evil spirit that might be hindering that person from coming to terms with God about their choices. (Again, that might be unfamiliar to you, but yes I believe in the devil and evil spirits as much as I believe in God, this is what makes me spirit-filled.) 

I am not going to get into any arguments about whether or not it is a choice but let me say this...Many of you have heard my story of being delivered from depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. I almost ended my life at 9 years old! I was bombarded with negative thinking and shame, thoughts that I didn't have a future and wasn't necessary.  My mother struggled with some of these issues and so did my grandmother who even attempted her life at one point. So when it came to my struggle I thought it was just my turn. I had people tell me in my late twenties that "It is hereditary, just get on some pills". If I had given over to the thought that my struggle was in my bloodline and that I couldn't change it, it would have been easier to give in and give up. But would my death have been validated because it was in my genetic code? No, it is not our place to play God with our lives! He gives and He takes away. 

You say how could God let this happen? Well we live in a fallen world. There are terrible things that happen in this world and some of our loved ones may be restored and redeemed and others may not.

"...So God left them and let them go their sinful way. And so they became completely immoral and used their bodies in shameful ways with each other. They traded the truth of God for a lie." Romans 1:24-25

 You see there is pedophilia, adultery, addiction, racism....all of these are sins. There is no differentiation between these things...even hate and murder are looked upon as the same. The only difference with homosexuality is that it has been so openly embraced for so many years that the government institutionalizing it only validates all of our loved ones lifestyles. But let's be honest does it really change the definition of marriage? No, God set that standard years ago. Marriage is a model based on the relationship between Christ and his Church and unfortunately with the current divorce rates and the ever increasing intolerance of biblical values anymore, the true definition of marriage has been lost, scattered and put back together with a government that lacks all understanding of the kind of covenant relationship a marriage truly models. So please don't let the latest legislation threaten you or begin to create animosity towards anyone of the homosexual life. 

Another important thing is if you are like me and have a relationship with that person that is strong, set some boundaries. Let them know what you will and won't allow around you. My brother and I had this conversation years ago. What I was and wasn't comfortable with him talking about or doing in front of my children until they were old enough to talk about it and understand. My brother has been extremely supportive of my boundaries and we have been able to talk about it. If he is dating someone, he respects me enough to ask before bringing them around. In fact in a couple of his long term relationships I got to know one of his dating partners very well and he knew exactly where I stood and what I believed. We were civil and able to hang out and I wanted him to know that I was praying for him just as much as I was praying for my brother. When I did get uncomfortable, not if but when, I would leave or keep a little distance for a couple of weeks. But I greatly admire the respect we've been able to share and that right now we just agree to disagree. 

 
I have had that talk with my brother as many of you probably have on the spiritual side of things. Asking things like "How are you doing? Are you going to church?" Things of that nature and of course we have had our more heated moments of "Don't you know this is wrong?" and him asking me "Show me proof in the bible!". We have sat down, had some really intense heart to hearts, cried together, and hugged each other.  But I have to believe that even this many years later, it is a struggle for him to live in this lifestyle. My brother and I grew up in a spirit-filled Christian home and grew up in a pentecostal church (if you can imagine!) He knows God's word and he still tells me he talks to God. The bible tells me God's word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11). So I believe it when the bible says "Train up a child in the way he should go, And even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6. He knows, I know, we all know it, we've heard it, we grew up singing the same songs in Sunday school. God's word is in there, maybe buried but it's in there. 

The biggest fear I have is when God's word is so taken out of context and distorted and viewed as irrelevant. This is where we as Christians need to stand firmly on the Bible and EVERYTHING it says. You can not call yourself a Christian and pick and choose what you want to believe and what you don't. This is something I have seen relayed to me from people in this lifestyle. I have gotten to know several gay friends of my brother's over the years and allowed myself to get close. (My mother thought sometimes too close.) But I looked at it from the viewpoint I believed Jesus would have. There wasn't anything like a gay bar or a pride parade in biblical times, but I think if there was Jesus would have been there talking and ministering to them. Not drinking the Sunday brunch mimosas of course, but there fellow-shipping, loving them and pointing them the way of heaven. I believe the same spirits delivered out of people back then would have been directly spoken to in the lives of homosexuals and we could see a completely reformed homosexual man rise up and walk out completely set free. 


 I don't believe homosexuality is a mental illness but more of a stronghold over the mind. There can be deliverance from it just as much as anything else. So you might ask, "Is them getting married to the opposite sex the answer?" Is heterosexuality the goal?" Well for some it could be, but for some others it is singleness.  No one has to get married and have children. Those things are all added ministries in your life and callings if God sees you fit to have that lifestyle. God has a completely different purpose and calling on each individual based on their gifts and talents. 

"We should think about each other to see how we can encourage each other to show love and do good works.  We must not quit meeting together, as some are doing. No, we need to keep on encouraging each other. This becomes more and more important as you see the Day getting closer." Hebrews 10:24-25

So I hope that those of you on the other side of homosexuality- the sister, the aunt, the grandmother, the friend.... are encouraged to keep loving, praying, sharing and speaking God's word over the life of your loved one. Be careful to avoid "... foolish and stupid arguments. You know that these arguments grow into bigger arguments.  As a servant of the Lord, you must not argue. You must be kind to everyone. You must be a good teacher, and you must be patient. You must gently teach those who don’t agree with you. Maybe God will let them change their hearts so that they can accept the truth." 2 Timothy 2:23-25  

I typically stay away from hot button issues like this. It is much easier to stay silent than to speak up. But, I stood at my book launch party last year and announced that I was starting a speaking ministry in 2015. I felt that the devil had enough loud voices on his side and God could use one more on his. So I stepped up to the plate and said "Lord here I am, use me." He took my mess and let it become my message, my tests into a testimony and NO ONE is too far gone to have that same 180 degree turnaround. The deeper, darker your sordid past, the greater your testimony will be. Someone told me that once and here I am today, ministering to women trying to help remove the negative stigma of struggles with mental illness. The struggle between me and my brother is not mentioned in my book because it's still fresh, sore and tender at times. We were so extremely close growing up and I long for our relationship to one day be restored to what it could be. But the differences do divide, as much as I wish they wouldn't. You just can't help it, it's always the big elephant in the room. 

But that is when I cling to the vision God gave me, I will sit and daydream of me and Him singing in church again- our voices harmonize like no one else. I think about the incredible story we could share together, maybe one day in a book. But in the meantime, I know the Holy Spirit will reach the parts of the heart that I can't and I find comfort in that. 

I understand that I am putting myself out there for ridicule and persecution and that is OK. The Holy Spirit moved me greatly to post about something that I believe takes me "In Over My Head", but where I fall short, God's glory will shine through that imperfection! 

 I’m standing knee deep but I’m out where never been
I feel You coming and I hear Your voice on the wind ...

Would you come and tear down the boxes that I have tried to put You in
Let love come teach me who You are again...

And You crash over me, I’m where You want me to be
I’m going under, I’m in over my head
Whether I sink, whether I swim
It makes no difference when I’m beautifully in over my head 
(Lyrics to "In Over My Head" by Bethel)
 

5 comments:

  1. I am weeping as I read this. This is my heart for Chris. I love you both so very much! I am so glad Gid me children. Blessed be the name of the Lord. He is a strong tower we run into!

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  2. I am so glad God gave me children. Sorry for the typo!

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  3. Powerful, Michelle! Thank you for being courageous and following God's leading. May the Lord richly bless your obedience and give you the longing of your heart.

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  4. Michelle , thanks for your courage. I can't imagine how difficult it must be not to experience the closeness you knew as a child with your brother. I pray God's peace in your life and healing power in your relationship with your brother. I applaud you has you endeavor to love your brother.

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  5. Absolutely beautiful. Your words are spot on. I have a cousin who is gay. One day he verbally attacked me because I am a believer. He thought that I was judgmental. I told him that I love him and I always will. There is nothing that he could ever do for me not to. His heart softened and he saw that I was not judging him, but his sin. Thank-you for the beautiful reminder to continue praying.

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