Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Conversations with the children

My husband blogged about telling our children that he is gay: why we decided to tell them, what other people thought we should do, how we did tell them, and their reactions.

Sunday on the way home from church, my 12-year-old daughter said. “Mom, there’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about.” She and I had driven separately to be to church early to rehearse with the choir. She had a meeting with the Beehive presidency after church to plan a Young Women’s activity, so here we were, coming home together, just the two of us.

“A couple of weeks ago in Young Womens, we were talking about things that are good and bad. Like the TV shows we watch and stuff like that. At the end, we were talking about marriage. One of the girls said something about gay marriage in California.”

Oh, no, here it comes. My daughter is now going to fight the same inner battle that I am fighting.

I asked her a few questions to clarify her words and the situation in her class. Apparently the comment was at the end of class and was just mentioned but not discussed in any detail. My daughter just wanted to know what her friend was talking about exactly.

I shared with her a brief history of the situation in CA, and then proceeded to share with her some of my own thoughts and feelings and how they conflict with the leaders of the church. I explained that maybe the leaders have not had personal experiences with someone who is gay, like we have, and don’t really understand what it all means, so they are saying things they believe even though it is not the same thing that I believe.

She and I sat in the garage, talking and crying together. I asked if she had noticed that I had been crying a lot lately. She had, and I told her that this was one of the reasons. I bore my testimony of the gospel to her too and let her know that even though I am confused and conflicted right now, I still have a testimony and want to go to church.

I then asked her if she was okay and apologized for what she was going through.

She smiled and said she was fine. I believe she is fine. She is strong, and she is still young, and I think she is able to feel the same love and understanding that I feel about gay marriage without letting it cause a conflict within her regarding following the Prophet.

I hope I have not influenced her feelings too much. She is at such an important age for building her testimony. I don’t want her to doubt it, and I don’t think she does. At the same time, this allows her the opportunity to learn at an early age about personal revelation, infallibility of church leaders, and compassion toward people regardless of their orientation, etc.

I have always been amazed at what a compassionate girl she is. I have also been amazed at her faith and testimony so far. She bore her testimony last month regarding her experience doing baptisms with the youth. I remember when she came home from the temple that day, she was teary eyed and glowing, immediately coming to me to tell me of her awesome experience.

One day I was watching an episode of Oprah that had a story of 2 gay men that have fostered 21 children and adopted 6. I replayed it for Scott and our two older children and then we talked about it. Our daughter thought it was nice that they could give the children a loving home. Our son (age 11) thought it was weird. He wouldn’t say much, but was obviously uncomfortable with it.

Only time will tell how he is handling all of this.

In the meantime, I sort of feel bad that we have brought them into the closet with us. The way things are going, though, it won’t be too long before there is no closet. It will be interesting to see how that affects the children as well.

I definitely don’t regret telling them. This is a journey we are all taking together, and it is strengthening our family as a result. That is a good thing.

5 comments:

Damon In CO said...

Serendipity-

I love that you and Scott told your children. I love that you discuss openly and honestly with them and expain your thought process.

I bet your 11 yr old is struggling because he's a boy and being male makes dealing with male homosexuality harder. Our society judges gay males so much worse and the stigma it carries is much more intense.

It's good to see your daughter is comfortable asking you questions like that.

In regards to my sexuality I wish I could talk to my Mom like that. She and I are very close. But my sexuality is one thing she won't talk about much. She has a hard time believing I am evil and just as hard a time believing Church Leaders could be that wrong.

~Damon

Carolyn said...

Serendipity,

A little over a week ago, you left a comment on my blog in response to my post "Yes to Proposition 8". Since then I have been praying and reading and pondering and searching with a renewed vigor, striving to reconcile my understanding of loving God with what I know is His counsel regarding this important vote. I am grateful for the impetus you gave me to continue pondering and praying. I have taken a spiritual journey that has increased my testimony and my empathy. You haven't changed my mind, but you have increased my understanding.

I am still up in the air as to whether or not I think that the church will ever reverse its position on gay marriage. I cannot pretend to understand God's purpose for His children, especially when its not really connected to me. I tend to think that this position will never reverse, although the related counsel probably will.

Regardless of the future relationship between church and homosexuality, I feel more strongly than ever that God has called us to act right now. He is inviting us to stand with His church and His chosen leaders, who reveal the current will of God.

God does not want us to be divided on this issue, or on any issue. In listening to the past conference talks, that has been made manifest to me over and over. God wants us to be unified. So I know that He would not whisper to His children courses of action that would bring them in opposition to each other.

In the end, I could think of no reason God would give two faithful church-members contrary answers. But I could think of a reason he would hold back an answer from a daughter in a particularly rough situation: compassion.

I hope you don't mind if I continue to pray for you and your family. I pray that you will be at peace.

Serendipity said...

Carolyn,

I am grateful for your prayers. I have definitely felt more peace than I have for several weeks.

Like I said in one of my blog posts, I don't know what God's higher purpose is with this conflict within the church right now, but my heart will not let me stand with the brethren on this issue. I'm sorry if that is what you want your prayers to accomplish.

I am glad that I have given you the opportunity for growth. Like I said, I appreciate your prayers and I am not going to ask you to stop praying for me. You are obviously a very compassionate and spiritual person and I am honored to be in your thoughts and prayers.

Carolyn said...

I haven't been praying that you would change your mind, only that you would be at peace.

It's not my place to receive revelation for you, it's your place.

Serendipity said...

Thank you. That means a lot to me, and like I said, I have been feeling a lot more peace lately, and I am really appreciative of angels in my life.

Thanks!