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Letting Go

By | Charlotte's Blog, Parenting, Personal Growth, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Letting Go…

I have been in a season of growing with God.

Although I have faced great joy, there has deep heartache and sorrow through my divorce and moving to Frederick.

One of the hardest things I have had to face was the reality that some of my children seemingly chose (for lack of a better word) their father over me. The pain was amplified by the fact that I stayed home and dedicated my whole life to them while their dad pursued what felt like success and other things, to put it mildly, over us.

The pain has reached new depths over this past season, and I finally realized I needed more of God to find healing.

“God,” I boldly prayed, “take whatever is between You and me.”

OUCH!

The level of pain around feeling rejection from my children climbed to an all-time high. Even places I had not experienced rejection before offered new levels of agony, that triggered old feelings as to why I left in the first place. Watching people in my past life move on as though I no longer exist, where I once was a valuable member of a community, served as a useful tool for the devil to get my eyes off my Lord and onto my sorrow.

“If you’d stayed married and in Annapolis, you would be enjoying all the great festivities happening there, as your children’s friends get married, have babies, etc.,” Satan stated a case that distracted me from the place God had called me to grow. “If you hadn’t left then you’d have…’

Not too different than his lies to Jesus:

And he said to him, “All these I will give you if you will fall down and worship me.” Matthew 4:9

The only way to overcome the pain I was in was to cling entirely to God. Push everything else aside. Nothing could take precedence over my time with God. The Bible study I did periodically, once again became a daily commitment. I threw myself at the feet of my Savior, as He strengthened me to let go. Let go of my children and the dreams I had of our close relationship. My desire to be invited to weddings and showers of the friends of my children whom I loved and cared for so profoundly over the years, who seemingly forget about my presence in their life.

Let go.

 

During this season God revealed to me how my clinging to what was, or what I wanted it to be, was driving a wedge into what is. I have been blessed with a town where I get lots of invitations and though I don’t have deep roots here yet, I will.  I have been blessed with a man who loves me more than I can even begin to imagine, and it’s been damaging for me to cling to an old idea and moan about what isn’t, instead of embrace wholly what is front and center.

“I put you here for a purpose,” God made it clear to me, “will you just let go of the space I moved you from and grow where I have planted you.” He has been beating me over the head, telling me He is ready to bless me and I am resisting as I focus on the things and places that once filled my ideals.

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

 

So I did. I let go, and while there will still be areas where I will need to ask God for the strength to further let go, I can say I am more and more rooted where I am and whom I am with, as a result of asking God to take away that which stands between Him and me.

 

How about you? Are you able to do the work and accept what is over what you desperately long for?

Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

Tales Around the Sunday Table; a Christian Response to Homosexuality

By | Charlotte's Blog, homosexuality, Uncategorized | No Comments

Tales Around the Sunday Table; a Christian Response to Homosexuality

When I was a little girl, my sister’s best friend’s father loved and welcomed me as his own. I was in a place in life where I needed that extra measure of care. Bill baked rectangular pizzas, in a baking sheet, and I found them to be the best! Eventually, Bill began baking pizza’s regularly (for me) on Sunday nights.

The stability that accompanied the sacrifice and commitment of the new tradition was of great value to the little girl I was. I lived in a world where I had much freedom and little grounding. At a young age, knowing Bill was making me pizza on Sunday nights was more valuable than anyone really knew.

Other people caught wind of the pizzas on Sunday nights, and like me, the budding tradition and unconditional love that was being served up drew them in too. Before long, the dinner evolved into a regular Tuesday Night meal for those who wanted to come. Bill and his family opened their home and their table for a crowd that in large part consisted of many young adults, perhaps seeking the same stability that I found around the table.

All sorts of people knew there was a seat for them; it was a gift that spanned hearts, years, generations and life events.

For a long time, I have wanted to reproduce something similar in my home; to say “We’ll have a place for you.” As my children began to grow and spend less time at home, I hoped they would always know there would be dinner served for them and whomever else would like to join us on Sunday night.

My husband, Bryan, recently met Bill on a trip back to Austin. As we fellowshipped around my mother’s dining room table that Sunday, Bryan got to hear incredible stories that developed from the Tuesday night suppers at Bills. Bryan caught the vision, and we came home with a plan for casual Sunday night dinners for people in our community.

If you would like us to include you, please let us know.

Our first dinner consisted of a motley crew; even I didn’t know everyone.

We invited a lot of people, and in the end, there were 10 of us; a perfect number, it turned out, to sit around my dining room table. We spent, what felt like hours, connecting with each other. We took turns going around the table, sharing who we are and something that made us unique. One of the first people to share was a man who had a story unlike any I had ever heard. Brought up a conservative Bible-believing Christian, he had married and had two children. His conservatism led him to serve as a politician for the Republican party. He was following the path that was set out for him until, when he was around 50 years old, he began to understand something was not right. He shared how it felt as he came to terms with the fact that he is gay.

His realization brought many painful feelings and realities. He turned to God, “Change me, God,” he implored. He didn’t want to bring pain and shame to his family. He wanted to die, to spare his loved ones from his reality. He considered ways he could commit suicide so that his loved ones would think his death was an accident and be spared the truth.

Eventually, he heard God. “I will not change you. I made you that way.”

What a shock for any Christian to hear. Many churches indoctrinate members to judge. Often evangelical churches teach us that all anyone needs is to be shown the truth in order to be led out of that sinful lifestyle.

Over the years I have heard plenty of people share about how God rescued them from homosexuality, but this was the first Christian I heard share how God comforted him, letting him know He made him that way.

Six years ago I was going through my cancer treatment when God spoke to my heart about the fact that I was judging gay people. He made it clear to me that He loves all of us identically. It was the beginning of my journey of not putting people in boxes because if their sexual orientation.

During our dinner, this man’s partner also shared his story. Another friend who is gay was at our table. Unlike the men, she knew in her teens, and she shared horrific abuse and rejection that she suffered over the years. Some of her most painful assaults came as she was forced to attend church while being prevented from participating in the Eucharist. She was publicly humiliated from the pulpit by the priest.

I have kept my love of homosexuals under wraps for a long time, for fear of being rejected by the church, as a Christian leader. Last year, however, the Lord called me to “come out,” and I did. The response was overwhelming from Christians in particular, who have children and loved ones who are gay and needed a Christian leader to stand up for LOVE!

We just had gay pride month, and that can make a lot of people uncomfortable. Even many of my gay friends choose not to associate with some of the obscenities that show up. I, for one, do not want to be associated with the hate that comes from many Christians. People cloak their hated and judgment in the standard saying “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” If you call yourself a Christian and are more concerned with scripture against lifestyles and less immersed in the overwhelming message of love, please recognize that you are not representing my faith, my God or me.

“For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:2

If you are like me and feel the calling to love despite the teachings of many churches, have the courage and “come out.

I hope one day you’ll join our Sunday night dinner and share your story. If you are not local, make your table where people can come to feel a sense of community, no matter who they are.

1 Corinthians 13 (ESV)

The Way of Love

13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

 I really appreciated this book Messy Grace written by a pastor Caleb Kalenbach, who has gay parents.

 https://www.amazon.com/Messy-Grace-Parents-Sacrificing-Conviction/dp/B0186H8P5U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1530529476&sr=1-1&keywords=messy+grace+caleb+kaltenbach