There’s a small, yellow piece of lined notebook paper on the bulletin board above my desk with just two words on it. It used to hang on a smaller board in my bedroom, a visual reminder of what God was calling me to practice not only in my life but foremost in my heart. I can’t remember their origin, somewhere in all my reading this past year or so they leapt out at me as I sought God in my pain. At first glance I was struck with not only their apparent incompatibility but also of the sheer impossibility of their message. I wish I could give credit to their author but will have to settle with asking the Lord to bless the writer for the impact their message has had in my pain.
It has now been a little over a year since my husband and I discovered that our youngest son is gay. At seventeen he left our home to live with a classmate and her family. He said it was just something he had to do. After much prayer and leading we gave our permission to something that seemed to literally tear our hearts out. Little did we know that he would stay there until he left for college. He thanked us for our blessing and we replied that it was not with blessing but with resignation. It was the beginning of the journey that we continue to find ourselves on. Having a child dealing with homosexuality puts you on the path of surrender. Not surrender of loving your child but surrender of how that love may look. I have learned to surrender my dreams for his life and offer them up to my heavenly Father, the holder and shaper of my dreams. I am learning to surrender my reputation as the Lord called my husband, a pastor, and I, along with our son, to be transparent with our church of the struggle we are facing. I am learning to surrender control of the future (as if I really ever was in control) to the Alpha and Omega and learning to look for God in the little things along the journey.
In Jennifer Rothschild’s book, Lessons I Learned in the Dark, she had this to say; “But part of learning to follow is flying the white flag of surrender. We surrender to the position in which God has placed us, and we surrender our behavior in that position.” I am learning to not only surrender my behavior but most importantly my attitude! So much to learn in this foreign land! Time and time again I find myself flying the white flag as my Lord calls me to trust Him and follow Him in this journey of loving my son in his homosexuality.
As I reflect on the past year or so, surprisingly I find some blessings that come with raising the white flag. A few of these are:
A peace that somehow passes understanding in knowing that my sovereign, heavenly Daddy is watching over my son so that I can let go of that responsibility.
An abandon to worship this God that I so desperately need, for when I worship Him His presence is so very real and comforting.
A freedom to love my son unconditionally for the wonderful person he is and leaving the details of how to reach him to God.
A reminder of how awesome my Savior’s love is for my son and me, both sinners.
A wonderful, intimate relationship with my Comforter to a depth that I haven’t known before.
This brings me back to the scrap of paper on my bulletin board, “Embrace Surrender” their message calls to me. I don’t think I’m quite to the place of embracing the white flag just yet, but at least I’m not stiff-arming it as I once did. Surrender in God’s vocabulary somehow means victory in His kingdom. Jesus showed us the way as He surrendered His life on the cross. Teach me Lord to take up my cross and follow you.
Surrender in God’s vocabulary somehow means victory in His kingdom