The Unexpected Invitation
Melinda Patrick is the author of today’s guest post.
“Mom, I love you and don’t like keeping secrets from you. I need to tell you something. I have a girlfriend.”
These are heart-sinking words when they come from your daughter. In the short time it takes for your mind to begin to grasp the words before you, your world comes crumbling down. Life, as you know it, has immediately changed.
Unexpected news has a way of revealing the cracks in our belief system.
Doubting God’s Goodness
Within days of the devastating news, even though I was a Christ follower, my heart filled with doubts about God’s goodness and love. My faith wavered as I questioned His ability to carry our family through this challenging journey and bring my daughter into a right relationship with Him. When my daughter came to me with her same-sex attraction, I had never heard of anyone being set free and walking away from an LGBTQ identity. I knew God could heal addicts, restore marriages, and free the captive.
But I thought this sin was beyond His reach. My actual beliefs about Him were revealed.
Perhaps you haven’t received a text message like the one above from your child, but you have received a life-changing phone call or other news that left you questioning the goodness of God.
I think about the two men on the road to Emmaus after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. They were followers of Jesus Christ before He went to the cross. With the disappointment of His death and burial, they questioned all they believed. Luke 24 tells us the two men discussed Jesus’ death and burial. Along comes Jesus – whom they didn’t recognize- and He asks them: “What are you discussing?” With faces downcast, one of them asked Jesus if He was a visitor and did not know what had happened over the last few days. As they carried on walking and talking, Jesus now walking with them, one of them finally confessed, ‘But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.’
But we had hoped.
Oh, don’t you feel the disappointment and heartbreak in the men’s voices? I can relate. Can you? Life has not happened as planned, and we wonder, “Is Jesus not who we thought He was?”
Let’s continue with the story of Luke. After hearing the men tell of their disappointment, Jesus explained to them what the Scriptures said, beginning with Moses. When the men reached their destination, they invited Jesus to stay with them. Still blinded to who He was, yet feeling a stirring in their hearts, they gathered around the table, and that is when they finally came to a place of recognizing Him. Luke 24:30-31 tells the story this way: “When he (Jesus) was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him…”
After they recognized Jesus, they got up and returned to Jerusalem and told others what they had experienced with Jesus. The men left Jerusalem downcast but returned to Hope-filled! When we intentionally sit at the table with Jesus, we gain sight to see Him and know His heart. As we come to know His heart, we are better able to be His hands and feet to a lost and hurting world.
Interruption or Invitation?
God’s greatest invitations often come disguised as life interruptions.
Just as the two men’s false beliefs about Jesus were revealed, God allowed my heart to be exposed too. One day, after wrestling with the Lord, I decided to pull up a chair and sit at the table with Jesus. I was open and honest. I shared with Him my hurts and doubts. And, as I opened the Bible and listened, He shared His heart with me. I discovered this isn’t the end of my or my daughter’s story. My God is on a rescue mission, and He started with me. My daughter needs a mom who can stand firm on the Word of God while loving her well. God loved me enough to expose the broken areas of my belief system, so I would be strong enough to stand in the difficult days.
Brave one, whatever disappointment you are facing today, God invites you to know Him at a deeper level. God is for you, not against you. God didn’t cause this but has allowed it. He is raising up, strengthening, freeing, and preparing His Bride, the Church. Pull up a chair and break bread with your Savior. A lost and dying world is looking to see if our Savior is still working miracles today. Let them see Him in you!
As Director of Parent Support for His Wonderful Works since 2013 and host of the award winning podcast, The Bridge Between Us: Loving Your LGBTQ-identified Child Without Compromising Truth, Melinda Patrick has been able to minister to many families with children and loved ones who have embraced an LGBTQ identity.
Having a daughter involved in the LGBTQ community for over 11 years, Melinda knows what it is like to grieve the choices our loved ones have made and understands the helplessness when things aren’t as we had hoped. Through her healing journey and the healing relationship with her daughter, she is passionate about emboldening and equipping parents to join God where He is at work in their life and family. Along with meeting families one-on-one, Melinda has had the opportunity to speak life into the lives of many families through radio, TV, podcast interviews, and guest blogging. She is an international speaker who often speaks at family conferences, church ministry events, and parent groups to equip families and the church to love well while not compromising Truth.
You will find Melinda and her husband, Ron, on the southside of Atlanta, Georgia. Together, they have 4 children and 4 grands. Her kitchen is notorious for impromptu dance parties, and her porch is loved for long talks, slow swinging, and sweet tea. The outdoors is where she loves to spend most of her time hiking, reading, and enjoying lazy lake days.