WHO MINISTERS TO WHOM? A Personal Story
During the meeting, I discovered that most of the other group members fit into the “family” category; I was merely a friend. “Are these the people I’m supposed to minister to?” I asked God, “or is it my friend? Or is it someone else involved in the struggle? Either way, God, I sure don’t feel like I fit in very well!” Yet throughout the subsequent weeks, my heart longed for the next meeting.
By the fourth or fifth meeting, I no longer felt like an outsider, I knew I belonged. The sense of belonging, however, came from realizing that the inner pains, troubles, anxieties, doubts and hurts regularly shared at the meetings were basically the same as mine—if I would face them. The sources or causes were different, but the results were the same. Now I found myself wanting to attend the meetings for ME—for the help and support these people might be able to give to ME. Yet I still desired an open door to also be used by the Lord to minister to others. I wondered what would come first.
On one particular evening, a member of the group shared about her recent experience with forgiveness. She spoke of forgiving her husband who had decided to pursue a “gay” relationship in lieu of their marriage. This was obviously the kind of forgiveness that comes straight from God, not the temporary kind that a human can muster up. “Boy,” I thought, as her words pierced my soul, “this sure sounds like the same story I heard from one of my best friends after her husband had left her for another woman.” I remembered then that my heart had been touched, but I had felt pressure, too, by my friend’s “ability” to forgive her husband. I began to shed a few tears as the group member continued to describe the victory and freedom of forgiveness with which God had blessed her. As she neared her conclusion, I was all but weeping. “This is for me,” I thought. “This is a key that can help my poverty stricken marriage.” Yes, I too had deep inner needs, troubles and anxieties.
When she finished, I could barely hold myself back from blurting out, “Yes, yes God—give me that kind of forgiveness.” I did blurt—but instead, I blurted my pain over a poor marriage, my failure as a wife and my need for God’s gift of forgiveness that I could extend to my husband. My problem had nothing to do with homosexuality, yet everyone rallied around me with support and prayers.
As the weeks and months have ticked by, the Family and Friends group has become the highlight of my life. Having a good group of friends who will cry, laugh and pray with me during both good and bad times has given me the strength I need to pursue help for my marriage and face the hurt, misunderstanding and unforgiveness which plagued our relationship for the past several years. And best of all, God is blessing me with forgiveness, the kind that heals and restores.
Thank you, Friends and Families, for baring your hears and souls to me, and thank you also for your understanding and acceptance. Thank you, WGA staff, for fighting the good fight of faith and sticking through the thick and thin. But most of all, thank you, guys and gals, men and women, who are facing the life controlling problem of homosexuality. Thank you for your bravery and courage. Your pain and ability to face reality has been a source of encouragement and hope for me. WGA wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for each of you—and I would never have learned that it is possible to open my most private and darkest closets.