“… 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

12 thoughts on “Lover of My Soul

  1. Your testimony is very touching and so transparent. You are living out the Word of God for healing and growth. God is using your family to be light in the midst of a very dark culture. You are addressing a problem that countless families are dealing with but keep it hidden or haven’t fully recognized it yet. May God continue to strengthen you to be all that He wants you to be. Your words are a healing balm to hurting hearts. We love you and Mark and your sweet family. You are much in our prayers.

    1. Dear Sylvia,

      Your loving words bring me much encouragement today. Thank you so much! Our entire family loves you and David – we treasure your friendship and prayers. Thank you again.

      In Christ’s Love,
      Emily

  2. Hey,
    I know that you don’t know me that well but I have been in contact with your son a lot lately. His testimony has really helped me to be able to accept God’s will for my life and to be able to share my real testimony as well. I am planning on telling my parents tomorrow afternoon about what I have been trying so hard to keep in the past and reading your testimony this afternoon really brought encouragement and hope to that possibly they will react as humbled as you did to a tough situation. Thanks for being such a light! God bless!

    –Anna Cooper

    1. Dear Anna,

      Thank you so much for sharing with me. I’ve been praying for you and your parents today. I’m so glad Everett’s story and my post have encouraged you to speak with your mom and dad. God will bless you for your honesty with them. Though this is a difficult matter for sure, God’s love and grace abound. May He fill you with His peace and joy as you follow Him one step at a time. To God be all the glory! Please keep in touch.

      In Christ’s Love,
      Emily

      1. Thanks so much for the prayers, I definitely could feel them this evening as I shared my personal written letter with my parents. They were devastated of course but definitely showed their love. I pray that in these next few weeks, we can figure out what the next step is. I know that although this was hard, it was God’s will for me to let it out and He will be praised!

        –Anna Cooper

        1. Dear Anna,

          You’re more than welcome. The Lord brought you to mind often throughout the day. I’m very thankful to hear your parents responded with love. If your mom ever needs someone to listen in this process, please direct her my way. I’ll keep all of you in my prayers.

          In Christ’s Love,
          Emily

          1. Dear Emily,

            Thanks so much! I am hoping that soon I will get to the point to where I can open up with my parents more on SSA and that I have and still struggle with it but that I can know the truth and still be tempted. I think it is hard for them to speak on or delve into because of the sheer thought. They know that it is wrong and strongly condemn it. Praying that once they open up, my mom will be able to read your testimony and maybe get in touch with you as well. Still praying and keeping faith! Thanks!

            –Anna Cooper

          2. Hi Anna,

            Thanks for the update. I’ve added you and your parents to a prayer list I’ve started for those specifically dealing with this issue. “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). He is able! May the Lord’s peace and joy be yours as you seek to live for Him in every aspect of your life.

            In Christ’s Love,
            Emily

  3. What a powerful word, Emily. Thank you for sharing your heart; I know it must be difficult. thank you for your transparency; It will minister to many.

    Exodus 6:1 says, SEE what God will do!!!

    Blessings and praying for His word to go out to many who need to hear about the God of Hope,

    Jeanne

    1. Thank you so much, dear Jeanne. More than anything I want others to know how sufficient and faithful God is. He has rescued my dear son and I’m forever grateful.

      Much love in Christ,
      Emily

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