The last few years of my life have been rough. I spent a lot of time in prayer as I inched my way out of the closet and into plain view. Many questions weighed heavily on me, “Is it okay to be gay and a Christian? I love God, why would He make me this way?” The problem was I didn’t have anyone who could relate to my struggle to talk to about it. Most of my church friends would not hesitate to tell me that there was no such thing as a gay Christian. It seemed they were unwilling to even consider what I was going through. The only solution they offered was to read what the Bible says and repent or that I was going to hell!
I felt there must be others like me. That’s when I started reading books about other gay Christians. Each book described my dilemma as a gay Christian — someone who loves God and has an attraction to the same-sex. Desiring more information, answers, and assurance, I looked for books written by Christians who had gay children. I also joined several Facebook groups for mama bears (moms with LGBTQ children).
I came upon a book titled, How We Sleep at Night by Sara Cunningham. This book is an intimate, raw, challenging, and emotional memoir of her personal journey regarding her son’s homosexuality. I read it with eagerness to find a Christian perspective on how God could love me with a same-sex attraction. Even though I’m not a mother of a gay child, I found plenty of similarities with Sara. Especially her experience in dealing with church people who did not support her or her gay son.
The Love of a Mama Bear Never Fails
I reached out to the author, Sara Cunningham, on Facebook to share my struggle to love and accept myself as a gay Christian. Although she is younger than me, Sara kindly offered to be my mama bear. I felt happy to have someone affirm me for who I was in Christ. I had spent too many years denying my worthiness and feeling isolated and alone.
After her book was released, Sara spent time searching for a group to support her. She was shocked to discover hundreds of other moms who shared her experience of alienation and separation. Sara gladly joined a private Facebook group, Just Because They Breathe, for Moms of LGBTQ children. She thought she was the only one who felt the way she did.
“No one talks openly about homosexuality. I was upset to hear how some members of the LGBTQ community were being alienated from their own families. I knew God was calling me to get the conversations started.”
Sara has only been involved with the LGBTQ community for two years. Once she accepted her gay son and the fact that God loved him too, she hit the ground running and has not slowed down. She’s writing a second book titled, “Making Love #getyourmindoutofthegutter.” It’s a collection of relationship stories, the ebb and flow of conflict resolution.
Sara’s vision is to bridge the gap between the non-affirming church and the LGBTQ community. She’s not sure what that will look like but knows it will require some prayer as she travels to different churches, making contacts, and initiating a conversation. Currently, there are churches seeking her, so she’s already on her way.
God is the “Mama Bear” to His Children
With permission, here are some excerpts from her book:
We grieved for each other’s pain. As much as I grieved for myself not wanting this, I grieved for Parker and the years he spent without someone to fully confide in, no one on this earth walked alongside him.
Only God knows the fears he faced internally and only God knows how those battles were won. I went from grieving the loss of my dream to feeling the pain of imagining what Parker had been through even up to that day, that very hour – knowing I was hurting because of something he couldn’t change.
My spiritual convictions never went against welcoming Kohl (Parker’s boyfriend) into our home. My only reservation was wondering how to ‘love the sinner, not the sin.’ How does a parent love their gay child without participating in their gay lives? How could I love everything about Parker but hate Kohl? That hurt my head to think about.
All I could see was conflict between Gays and Christians and all that I could hear was the hatred hurled towards my son. I took it all personal. Each insult was like a punch to my gut. I had never felt so alienated from the church or society. I’ll never forget the pain I felt when I heard a preacher I greatly admired liken the gay community to child molesters, perverts and those involved in bestiality. Really?! That is not my son. How could anyone make such accusations? That was the day I took down the wooden cross that hung from my rear view mirror. I felt guilty by association.
I encourage you to pick up a copy of How We Sleep at Night on Amazon, especially if you have ever questioned how to love your gay child while honoring your faith. This book will provide you with some peace on your path to find your own answers.
I recommend this book for anyone who has a relative or friend who is LGBTQ and unsure how to start a conversation with them. We’re all learning how to engage with one another on this subject.
Join the conversation in the comments below.
If you would like to learn more about the author, please connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/howwesleepatnight