FROM A MOTHER’S HEART by A Mother From WGA
Everyone has a story to tell; this is mine.
When Jake told me that warm summer night, I felt as though my world had ended. It was as if the son I knew had died. Many people can not relate to my reaction, but that is exactly the way I felt. For weeks and months after, my mind would play tricks on me and I would think I had been dreaming, or remembering a movie. I hadn’t been. What my son told me was that he was gay.
It was the son I knew as a regular church-goer who loved the Lord, led Bible studies, went on missions trips, dated girls. It was that son. So, I started searching for answers, reading books, praying like I had never prayed before. I went to conferences related to sexual issues including homosexuality and prayed and prayed. The dreams I had for him were now gone.
Jake was a well-behaved child, inquisitive, bright and loving. In school he was the model student, doing all the things the teachers asked. He was a teacher’s pet and a perfect target for teasing, not athletic, but bookish and a loner. With good grades, he was always groomed to the tee and a perfectionist to the letter. There were friends but not ones he brought home often. Most school nights would find Jake in his room alone. It was very difficult to break through his barriers and talk. No problem, I thought. He seemed well adjusted, did well in school, and besides his Dad was very much like him.
In junior high he had a challenge that he could not handle. A vicious bully taunted him every day of his 7th grade year. Jake finally broke and ended up in the counselor’s office at the end of the year. It was too late, the damage was already done to this quiet, sensitive, now-injured child. I imagine this was one of many classmates who had a heyday teasing him. I don’t know because he is unable to share the deep feelings about his story.
On to high school and his 16th birthday; he got his license, a car to drive and a new church with a youth group that accepted him totally. A new Jake emerged. He got involved with every aspect of that group, constantly with his church friends and his first real girlfriend. Things seemed very normal. He was the happiest I had ever seen him. After a year or so the relationship with this girl ended, and Jake stuffed all of his feelings. He went on his merry way, dating some but never again dating anyone seriously.
“That summer Jake told his Dad and me.”
After high school, he attended a large university with a typical party environment. The new chapter in his life involved seeing the real world and experiencing the college life. His faith was still in tact, as far as I knew. But he was not sharing much news; he remained quiet and to himself. Then came the summer after his sophomore year. He came home to live and didn’t hang out with friends. He stayed in his room talking to a friend, a male friend, on the phone a lot and on his computer. He had become more of a loner that he had been in his earlier years. That summer Jake told his Dad and me.
How have I survived? The verse that I cling to reminds me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And I found Where Grace Abounds. WGA is where I can go and people understand my language. I am getting answers there and learning each week about various sexual struggles, not only that of homosexuals. There are people I have become close to and call friends. I want to give back so much of what I have received. I hope to make a difference in the lives of at least some of the people I meet at WGA. WGA is a safe environment where I can totally be myself and where healing is slowly coming, even though I can’t imagine ever feeling totally whole again.
I sit in the pain each and every day; some days it is a challenge just to get out of bed. But I believe my pain is nothing compared to the pain my son endures. Ultimately Christ is in control and I have to trust and obey him. As my younger son says, “Mom, all in God’s time.” I say many times at WGA I believe in a miracle for my son Jake, and I do. It is just hard to wait. I pray that my son will come to know the truth, the WHOLE truth. And I think with love of all the parents out there who are in the same situation.