A Parent’s Story: Sharon

We come to you this holiday season, extremely grateful. Alive in Christ has had an amazing year of growth! We held trainings seminars, mentoring sessions, four regular support groups, spoke to youth groups, shared in numerous church services – and the list goes on. Due to this growth, Alive in Christ is in need of $25,000 in year-end giving to support God’s work as we continue to offer hope to those impacted by same-sex attraction & gender dysphoria. We are seeking gifts of all sizes from approximately 100 people to keep up with the opportunities God has put in front of us.

Consider this need as you read how God works through Alive in Christ to impact people, people like Sharon. Sharon began attending our Alive in Christ friends & family group in 2011, traveling quite a distance to participate. Even though she attended infrequently due to living six hours away, she always asked other parents to send prayer requests. Sharon (pictured here with her husband) joined the Alive in Christ ministry leadership team this year. Here is her story:

I became a Christian at the age of 30. One of my dear friends would take my son to Sunday school and junior choir, which would bring my husband and I to church whenever the choir sang. One day when I was leaving, the pastor asked me, “If you were to die today and stood before God, and He asked you, ‘Why should I let you into heaven?’ what would you say?” It got me thinking. My friend then invited me to listen to an evangelist. That night, I walked down the church aisle and accepted Jesus as my Savior. A year later, my husband did as well, followed by my children at ages 5 and 6.

My daughter came out as gay 13 years ago. We abruptly went from shopping for an engagement ring to her breaking up with her boyfriend and finding a girlfriend. My daughter had believed, followed, and loved Jesus, I thought, since a young age. Not long before they broke up, she had asked our pastor to sit down with her boyfriend and explain salvation to him because she wanted to raise their children the same way she was raised.

Those of you who have experienced this know how devastating it is. My husband and I grieved and grieved. I remember asking God to help me love my daughter because I couldn’t do it on my own at that point. One reason this was so devastating is because we believed, at the time, this was one of the worst sins ever. I now know and realize it is a sin like all other sins. But at the time, we were so ashamed that we told only our pastor what was happening for about a year.

With guidance from our pastor, we tried to “discipline” her back. This is one thing I absolutely wish I had done differently, though at the time I was constantly praying and asking God for guidance. Pulling away from her, pulling our support from her didn’t bring her any closer to Jesus and may have pushed her further away.

One thing I tried to do is not say anything to my daughter without praying about it for a day, so I wouldn’t say something out of my pain and anger. Don’t get me wrong – I definitely said things I shouldn’t have at the beginning, but I believe I learned from that, and learned to wait and pray before I spoke.

I also believed God did not want me to speak to, or have anything to do with, any female partner my daughter was with. And again, I prayed constantly and believed that this is what God was telling me to do – that is until my daughter’s 30th birthday party. I walked by her partner when I left and did not say a word to her. When I got out to my car, God said to me, “You would never have treated anyone else the way you just treated that girl.” I cried all the way home. A few days later, I wrote her partner a letter and apologized to her. In my prayers, I always asked God to change my heart to match His. That night, He absolutely did change my heart, and I have spent time with both my daughter and her partner ever since.

Before all of this happened, I would always say that I loved God and that He came first in my life. Yet that was nothing compared to how I fell in love with Him through all of this. It brought me closer to Him than I ever had been in my whole life. He was there beside me, sometimes carrying me, through my pain and grief.

I don’t know if I would have gotten through this without Alive in Christ. Being able to talk to other parents and families who are going through the same thing I am. Learning from each other’s experiences and learning from the wonderful, caring leaders who have so much wisdom. I am so very thankful for this ministry!

Because of our culture, there is a chance that your child may think about or act on same-sex attraction. Consider what you will do and how you will respond if it happens. I did not have that because I never thought it was a possibility. For those of you who may be at the beginning of this journey, just know that it does get easier. It does not feel that way now, but it does get easier.

A Scripture that has been an anchor for me during this time is Phil 4:5-7; “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

My husband and I are now facing a new hurdle. My daughter is engaged to her partner and will be getting married in March. This has brought a whole new set of problems. I desperately want my daughter to come back to Christ. I know this marriage is outside of God’s will and could get in the way of that. I just pray and ask that you would pray for her and for God to lead us to where He wants us to be and what He wants us to do. Prayer is the most important thing we can do for our children and the more people are praying for them, the better.

I believe our job as parents is to love our children back to Christ. If our children can just fall in love with Jesus again or for the first time, He will take care of everything else. – Sharon

We are so grateful for God’s work through the ministry of Alive in Christ! Your prayers and giving are what makes this possible. By supporting the ministry of Alive in Christ, you make it possible for us to continue to disciple and mentor people like Sharon, as well as support individuals who are learning to walk in freedom from same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria. You allow us to train churches leaders to share Jesus’s love with people who identify as LGBTQ+.

To give to the ministry of Alive in Christ, you can either send a check to us at the address below, you can give under the “Support” section of our website, or you can also give through texting. Just text Aliveinchrist to 1-888-364-GIVE (4483). Alive in Christ is a 501(c)3, and all gifts are tax-deductible.

Alive in Christ, 1 Park Street, Boston, MA 02108, (617) 880-9099, http://www.alive-in-christ.net