She barely hung up the phone before the tears poured out. “Oh, God, why are you letting this happen? Why??” She just saw all the pictures – accidentally – of her nephew Johnny’s graduation party. She had just talked to him on the phone, called to say congratulations… she loved that kid… and to try to find out what he’d like for a gift.
She had no idea there was a party because no one told her about it. They simply had a family party and excluded her.
What the hell??
She was unspeakably angry, and hurt. There she was sitting in her jammies in front of the TV, randomly checking Facebook, when she saw the pix. She still couldn’t believe it. Her family had had a graduation party and she finds out about it on FB – a party everyone was invited to, she could see from all the pix that looked like a family reunion; grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins, everyone. Except her.
Apparently, she was no longer family.
So she’d picked up her phone to call her mother. Her mother. And her mother had said, “Well, we thought it was not a good influence to have you there, what with all the cousins and everything. And you know, you have made your decision.”
What decision had she made?? What was she – an alcoholic? A druggie? A child molester? No! She had simply been honest with her family that she was attracted to women, not men. She was a lesbian. And there was nothing she could do about it.
“God, I’m crushed. And I’m LIVID,” she said, pacing the floor. “What kind of family just rejects and eliminates someone they don’t agree with? HOW IS THAT FAMILY??”
She thought of the many ways she’d been there for them, all of them, over the years, in their various situations. OMG. The more she thought about it the angrier she grew.
“God, you would think I’d done something terrible. Mom telling me, ‘I’ve made my decision.’ What a bunch of crap. The only decision I made was to be authentic with them – and with myself – and follow how God was leading me. Decision?? They have no idea what they’re talking about. So they gathered all the rest of the family – all of them – who apparently are all perfectly fine. Uncle Hal’s alcoholism? Oh no, that’s fine! Aunt Jane’s eating to avoid her deep, gaping wounds? Oh no, no prob, Aunt Jane. You come right on in, because we welcome eeeevveryboooddyy. Oh, except the lesbian. Noooo. We can’t have that. Grandma gossips about everyone, Dad had his affair, Mom judges everyone for everything. But me? I’ve ‘made a decision.’
NEWSFLASH, MOM: I DIDN’T MAKE A DECISION.”
She sat on the sofa and held her head in her hands. “God, I’m asking you to help me here. You know that I prayed for years about this, I never asked to be gay. You never took away my gayness – and now I have to pay for it. Again. And knowing them, for the rest of my life.” She knew it wasn’t Johnny – he had never cared that she was gay, and he loved her just as he always had. She knew it was her mother. And of course her siblings. “Because they are perfect,” she said aloud and then shook her head. They had no idea what it was to be in her shoes, zero, nada, and they really didn’t try. Yet they KNEW she was wrong and that they should exclude her. Because that’s what family does. And that do it all “in Jesus name.”That is not what Jesus taught or asks of them – and it is most certainly NOT what he would do.
“No, Jesus let that ‘shady’ woman massage his feet with her hair, while the religious leader sat back in judgment,” she spoke out loud again. “And Jesus corrected the religious man, not the woman.” She was talking to God again, because she always talked to God. And even in her anger and pain, she had always had God. And she’d come to terms with knowing God was not angry at her, not disappointed in her… not sending her to hell.
It had taken a while to get there, but she’d come to peace with knowing God had simply made her exactly as she was. What a relief to finally get to that.
“But God, it hurts,” she said. “I feel so defeated. Even when we all seem to be on “good terms” they could just exclude me like that. I am just crushed.” She let out a long sigh and just sat.
Sara! She heard in her thoughts that small, gentle voice she knew so well.
Sara, I know this hurts, but be at peace! I made you exactly as I wanted you, and I have many people for you to speak to, people who are hurting as you have hurt. And you will help them through their pain because you have worked through yours. She thought of the ‘sin’ issues her family had simply swept under the rug. Ugh, too many to count. It’s true – they hadn’t worked through their stuff.
You, Sara, have brought everything to me, she heard in such a loving voice, and I have carried you. I have been preparing you to speak to those who have also been shut out of their family. I will bring them your way, and you will have much comfort to offer them. I did not bring you here to abandon you, my beloved. Take heart! This is all part of your journey that is only beginning!
My Dear Readers… This is pretty much a true story – just some details have been changed to hide identities. So many of you have been through your own version of this, and it has been terribly difficult. I give you this story with the hope that you find your own comfort. Wherever you are, you are not there by accident. You are far too beautiful and amazing for that. And God is far too loving for that. Take heart! You need not seek community from a family that is unwilling or unable to give it, but allow community to emerge from those around you. You have much to offer. If you are struggling with this, write me. With all my love, Susan