I am feeling woefully low, and overwhelmed. I’m not sure what to do with my feelings. I do have a therapist, but when I mentioned why my current circumstances bothers me, I could see her immediate discomfort. There are downfalls of not being able to secure Christian counseling.
My daughter has begun identifying as queer and transgender. She’s 19, so well within her rights as an adult, to do with herself as she pleases. At the same time, this combined with her telling me that she “abhors” God and wants to save her brothers from me, a hateful bigot…. I’m just heartbroken. She commonly goes online and publicly mocks and ridicules me for being a believer, and being more politically conservative. It absolutely feels as though my daughter, whom I have spent most of my life nurturing, hates everything about me. There never was a time when she came to me to talk. She just bypassed that, and went straight to judging and dismissing me.
I have no peace. I struggle to sleep, and live with a steady heaviness in my chest, and I quietly wonder whether my body can hold up under the stress of the last couple years. This time of grief is just so heavy, I don’t know how to bear it, and I feel very much alone. All I have our lamentations. It’s hard to go through something like this, when the automatic position of those around me is that I’m a “bad guy” and abusive for believing in the bible, even though I haven’t been cruel or unkind to my child, who is so deeply lost. I don’t know how to interact with her now, because I don’t want to support her in mutilating her body, and anything less is viewed almost as violence against her.
Praying. I know it’s hard. I know some of the difficulty is trying to know what to do. As followers of Christ, who do love others, I believe we have a responsibility to confront sin. If your daughter ever claimed to be a Christian, Matthew 18 is a beginning of how one might do that. But the end result, if that person doesn’t listen is to treat them like an unbeliever. If she never claimed Christ, you’re starting in the same place, she’s an unbeliever. That’s when we look at Jesus and how He treated the “sinners”/unbelievers. He loved them, by eating with them, talking to them, letting them touch Him, etc. That’s the door on how He was calling and drawing them to Him, and it can be the door in which you help draw her to Him as well. You can stand in truth and for truth 100%, and still show 100% grace. In that, I think your love will become obvious.
Oh, Wren, I am sorry to hear that you are in such turmoil. It must be so difficult for you to face this. I will pray for strength and healing for your family.
I will probably face conflict for what I am about to say, and I’m ok with that. But here’s where I’m coming from. We went through something similar with my uncle when he announced he was gay. Large devout Catholic family, and he was the only hope for carrying on the family name. We were devastated. He tried for years to date women, so we didn’t see it coming. We had several choices for how to handle it, and what individuals decided varied. I remember my mother especially struggled, because she asked me for advice and I was only 13.
6 years later, he was given a diagnosis of ALS and died within 5 years. His sexual orientation was frequently a topic of conversation between my mother and I. She expressed such relief that she had been open and loving to him, for that’s how she handled it. Always showing love with the understanding that she could not change him no matter how much she wanted to. It allowed those last years to be precious.
Did he die in sin? Probably. But don’t we all? Our religion levels sins. (Well, the Catholic Church doesn’t, but that’s another topic.) But so many of us (in general, not specifically us) act as though some sins are worse than others. It’s a huge turn off to the lost and the seeking. I suspect that’s why she assumed you would be bigoted against it. Despite being repeatedly admonished not to, we collectively tend to be pros at judging others. We’re known for it. It’s why Jesus told us to knock it off more than anything else. So people automatically assume we will judge and be hateful because of that.
She’s scared. Society tells her one thing while her upbringing tell her another. The cognitive dissonance she must be going through has to be crippling. Lashing out in anger is to be expected, and you are her upbringing personified. It’s unfair to you, but she’s at such a tough age.
I can’t tell you what to do here. But I can model what my mother did. Try just showing love to her. Pray for her, but give this stress to God. He can handle it, but your stress and lack of sleep will only hurt you.
I know that the thought of a sex change is beyond daunting. I’ve known transgenders as they’ve changed and I’ve taught one. I remember a mother saying, “All I can do is love her.” She couldn’t bring herself to use the other pronoun. But the love was very apparent.
Society is telling your daughter that all conservative Christians hate her. What can you do to prove society wrong even as you pray?
Oh Wren, that’s so difficult. I will be praying. When I lay awake at night, agonizing over our own prodigal child, I will pray for you and yours. I understand the aching heart, the heavy feeling, what its done to my health, the heartbreak, the not being able to sleep, the feeling of aloneness in the dead of night. And I wish that I could have a whole week of nights without worry.
I see the lunch that I have put in containers for the next day. I see the special food I have saved for that child. And I think to myself, can you not at least answer my text at midnight, telling me that you are ok? But, I keep reminding myself that when my heart is breaking, God’s is already broken. And I keep praying, even though is seems hopeless, because there is nothing else I can do.
Although, our child isn’t struggling with what your daughter is, there are other sins calling. Also, our child would never talk to us or share feelings, all through the teenage years. There was much heartache and rebellion there, too. But, its like that child has become an adult, suddenly. They have learned to much better relate to us, although its far from perfect and taking their own path, instead of God’s. I share that part to give you a bit of hope. I never dreamed we would get this far in a relationship, although it still needs a lot of improvement.
There is a book that popped up on my Bible app one day, and it was totally God sent! A free downloadable for that day. Its called, “Praying for Your Prodigal” by Kyle Idleman. It has brought some rest to my heart. And it’s taught me how to pray for our prodigal and I now pray a little differently. I saw that its available on Amazon.
Courage to you, and remember when you are laying awake at night, chances are that another prodigal’s mom is also awake and praying for you, too.
We have had the painful experience of having one of our daughters move out for all the wrong reasons at the age of 17. The grief of seeing her downward spiral was so hard to bear. Daily we bring her before God in prayer asking for a miracle. Whatever we stand against are the very things she wants. My heart goes out to you. It’s a very difficult burden to bear. In fact we can’t bear it. We need to learn to release it to the Lord. In every trial God is working in us for His good purpose. I encourage you to take time to hear from God in His Word. The more we do, our peace increases. We know the One is sovereign over every speck in the entire universe, and He cares for us.
1 Peter 5:6-7,
2 Corinthians 1:8-10,
Praying for you Wren that He gives you comfort and strength now. Praying for your daughter that she encounters the One that she cannot deny. Understand that she has scales on her eyes, not seeing truth. Try to deal with her from that standpoint. You can’t help what others think or their judging; so place that at His feet and keep praying. Remember always that nothing is impossible for God. Imagine yourself laying at His feet.
I know you have a burden on you, but your daughter is 19 and while she is not completely grown yet ( I think that happens by mid 20’s) she is trying to find herself.
You can’t take the blame for what your kids do, they make their own decisions, you can help guide them, but can’t control them, so stop trying to do that.
Be there for her, don’t “preach” to her, she won’t listen anyway. She back off a little and accept her if you want to keep her in your life. It will make both your lives better.