“… Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5
January 2012. It was the hardest letter I’ve ever had to read. Graphic. Devastating. True. Details about my son’s same-sex attraction and addiction to pornography DEEPLY grieved me. The only good part was that he wanted to be free. He’d found Truth Ministry online, but because he was a minor, Everett had to tell us about his problem before receiving counsel. I’m so grateful he did.
I still remember sitting there–the three of us–I occupied the chair, my husband sat on the floor, and our son lay prostrate. Tears flowed as Mark and I processed Everett’s confession. “We love you, Everett,” both of us affirmed. But, oh, what a HUGE situation we found ourselves in.
As Everett’s mom, where do I begin? Why even share this story from my point of view? Because many moms are hurting like I hurt this past year. Aching. Crying. Praying. And I have so much compassion for anyone in that place. There is hope.
Life takes unexpected turns, though nothing ever surprises God. He sovereignly brings events into our lives that shake us to the core–there’s no such thing as an easy Christian life. At these times, we can either turn toward Him or away from Him. What we choose has lasting ramifications.
God is faithful.
For various reasons, I’d had my suspicions through the years. But I didn’t have anything concrete to go on, other than when I initially caught Everett viewing pornographic images of a man. I fretted from time to time and prayed against the homosexual possibility. I also rationalized that his looking at men was just curiosity. When the complete truth came out, I heard what I had dreaded for years.
I can’t even describe the crushing sorrow and fear that followed. What was to become of my son? Yes, it was an enormous praise that he exposed his sin. Yes, we were extremely grateful this came out before he left home for college. Yes, we wanted to do all we could to help him. But how was I supposed to live day by day on this journey?
I had to learn some lessons in the process.
Lesson #1: Hold my tongue.
At home, one of my major shortcomings is speaking too quickly–speaking in the heat of the moment rather than being led by the Holy Spirit. My loose tongue has caused heartache for my family and me. As Everett began walking the road of recovery, I spoke rashly many times. Sure–he wasn’t an angel to live with through this experience, but neither was I. Unfortunately my husband and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye. But bottom line: “… a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Through the pain of this trial, I’ve learned to restrain from blurting out my thoughts when it’s better to zip. my. lips.
Lesson #2: God is enough.
I knew this, but now I know it even more. There were times I wanted so badly to share my anguish with a friend who would comfort me and pray for me. Prayer powerfully prevents the enemy from achieving his goals, and I wished for prayer warriors to fight the battle for my son with me … to lift me up for wisdom and strength as I faced the ups and downs of Everett’s journey. But Everett wasn’t ready for that. He asked for confidentiality and I completely understood. Though he had told a mutual friend, to whom I’m incredibly grateful for their prayers and love, I couldn’t share with my closest friends or family. Even so, there was One on whom I could ALWAYS count–my Abba Father, my Lord, my dearest Friend. He heard my cries, He comforted me, and He wiped every tear. God resoundingly proved He is “A very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
Lesson #3: Trials take time.
We live in a “fast-food” society, and we often expect what we want when we want it. That’s not how God operates. He works according to His own timetable–not ours. I had no idea how God would answer my prayers or when. Honestly, I didn’t even know how things would turn out for Everett. I periodically questioned his salvation, while clinging to the surety of his salvation at other times. There was lots of heartache as he often isolated himself from me and seemingly rejected my love. I longed for the day when he’d say of his own volition, “I love you, Mom.” I cried countless tears, worried about my other children, and secretly feared all this was my fault. My husband and I clung to each other … yet often felt alone. What was God doing?! Now that we’ve reached the other side–knowing full well there are still challenges to come–I’m honored to reiterate that GOD IS FAITHFUL! He has done an awesome work in Everett’s heart. All praise and glory be to Him! He oversaw our trial with wisdom and love, “… His understanding is inscrutable” (Isaiah 40:28). Everything occurred exactly as God planned and He accomplished His work in His perfect timing. Truly, “… Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5).
Perhaps your son or daughter is struggling with homosexuality … or they’ve embraced it. Maybe your child is trapped in another type of sin–an addiction stemming from efforts to ease pain. Dear friend, please know there is hope in Christ. There’s no need to suffer in silence, for He hears you when you cry. Take your heartache to Him and receive relief of the heavenly kind. He knows you by name and remembers you in your distress. He will never let you go. If you haven’t read Everett’s story, please do: www.everettwickham.com. You’ll be inspired by God’s unfailing love, faithfulness, and power … and by the courage He gave Everett to share.
Draw close to the Lover of your soul.
“But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.” – Micah 7:7