Category : Families

We may be the only Jesus our child’s partner ever sees.

God Used an Eight Year Old By Betty Kalbes

Betty Kalbes Director

Betty Kalbes
The Way Out

Thirty-three years ago I asked my daughter a question and her answer would change our relationship for years to come.  I asked her if she was a lesbian.  She said she was and “Did I hate her?”  I told her I didn’t hate her I loved her, but I hated the life she was choosing to live.  She told me she could tell me where I could go for help (PFLAG) and I told her I didn’t need help. She was the one that needed the help.  How little did I know how much help I was going to need.  I didn’t want anybody to know she was a lesbian.  She was my daughter and I loved her and I didn’t want anyone talking about her.  I didn’t want to tell my pastor; “What would he think of Debbie?”  I hadn’t heard of Exodus and I had no idea of where to go for help.  I knew for sure it wasn’t PFLAG.  When I first found out about Debbie I told her she could never bring anyone home.  Our relationship was very strained.  I felt like I was losing her and I didn’t want that.  In the mean time I read a book by Anita Worthen and Bob Davies called, Someone I Love is Gay.  In the book Anita said, “We may be the only Jesus our child’s partner ever sees.”  She also said that partner may accept Jesus as their Savior and lead our child back to Him.  That really opened my eyes.  Debbie’s partner sure wasn’t seeing Jesus in me.  Even though it was still hard for me I did let her bring her partner home.  I kept praying that God would remove Debbie from the lifestyle, and then the Holy Spirit asked me where her relationship was with Him.  I knew I needed to be praying about her relationship with God and not about her lifestyle.  When I started praying about Debbie’s relationship with God our relationship started to change little by little.  Debbie and her partner at that time were fostering children.  They had a little 8-year-old foster girl who told them if they didn’t start taking her to church then she was going to the Jewish synagogue next door.  This little girl was not raised in church, but really wanted to go.  They decided they better get her in church so off they went.  The church God sent them to was wonderful.  The pastor and congregation reached out to them with so much love.  After they had gone there a few weeks the pastor and his wife met with them.  He told them that they taught homosexuality was a sin because that’s what the word of God says, but they were welcome to worship at their church.  After about three or four years of going to church there Debbie gave her life back to Jesus.  About 6 or 8 months later her ex-partner gave her life to Jesus.  Four years ago Debbie attended her first Exodus conference.  During praise and worship she took my hand and asked, “Did you ever think we’d be at an Exodus conference together?”  Three years ago her ex-partner attended her first conference.  I will forever be grateful for that little 8-year-old foster girl and a pastor that didn’t compromise the word of God.  What a might God we serve.

We had no direction. We were ashamed and I felt guilty. What did I do to cause this? What could I have done differently? How can I “fix” this?

A Mother’s Journey

Nora SeemanNora Seemann

My oldest daughter Beth lived the homosexual lifestyle for almost 24 years. Never once, during that time, did we hear “Mom, I’m gay.” Beth is the oldest of my four children from my first marriage and this is our story.

When my children were four to 11 years old, their Dad chose to walk out on us after his unfaithfulness and sexual abuse of our nine-year old daughter. Fourteen months later I was granted a divorce.

Times were difficult for us, but with Christ we stayed active in church. Unable to afford a sitter on my salary, Beth became the main caretaker of her three siblings while I worked. I was in such depression, I didn’t realize the problems I was presenting to my children because of this. Beth lost her childhood and her siblings resented her position over them. These years later, there are still some repercussions over this.

About eight and a half years after the divorce, I met a Christian man – someone who won the approval of each of the children.

Ten years after the divorce from my children’s father, Fred and I planned to be married.

In January of 1979, we went to a local mall to shop for our wedding rings. After we made the purchase, we turned to leave the store and froze in our tracks. Beth and a girl were walking together in the mall. They were hand-in-hand and kissing each other – on the lips. Needless to say, we were shocked. Fred took me home and waited with me until Beth came in. He confronted her about her behavior and her excuse was “My friend had bad news and I was comforting her.”

This girl was a girl from our church! We knew her Christian mother! Her sister was my assistant teacher in Sunday School! This behavior was not what we expected from either of these young ladies and I – I felt numb, ashamed, guilty, and grief-stricken. My children were raised in church and each had made a decision for Christ in their childhood. We were active in church, and I had seen nothing out of the ordinary in Beth’s life that would cause me to question her lifestyle.

Two days after this incident, Beth had her twenty-first birthday. The next day, Fred married me, in spite of it all. Being an only child raised by his father, Fred had no idea what the future held for him, for us, or for the children who were then 14 to 21.

Fred confronted Beth one morning a few months after we were married. At the time, Beth was working as a bartender and had brought an unknown girl home to spend the night. They were in bed together, asleep. Another confrontation. It wasn’t long before Beth moved out and shared a rental unit with yet another “friend.” That “friend” came with Beth when she’d visit us. She joined us on holidays and for birthday celebrations. They never behaved in any questionable way, in our presence. We were always dealing with unconfirmed suspicions regarding her life. It was extremely unsettling.

Shortly after this relationship ended, Beth (who had been in the Air Force Reserves while in High School) elected to join the active Air Force. Later Beth would tell me this was when she openly lived the homosexual lifestyle. Over the years, when Beth would visit home and go to church with us, she would respond to the invitation to give her heart and life to Christ. Then she would leave, and resume life as she had before.

When it was time for reenlistment, Beth did not reenlist. Instead, she had a baby. They were living in another state, and Beth had another partner.

When our granddaughter was about five years old, Beth sold her home there and moved back to Ohio. Other partners entered the picture.

When our granddaughter was 12 years old, she was diagnosed with leukemia and was hospitalized for a full month, where she experienced many painful treatments including chemo and radiation to her head and a stroke. It was then, January 2001, that Beth came to the realization that God could/might take her daughter unless she changed her way of living. This crisis brought Beth to God in repentance and she received His love and forgiveness.

In 2002, Beth told Fred, “2001 was the worst year of my life; yet, it was the best year of my life.” The worst – because of her daughter’s diagnosis and the endless pain she suffered. The best – because her life has been redeemed. Today, Beth is a living testimony of God’s grace.

She has had some serious temptations, but turned to God, and He has been faithful to her to provide that way of escape which is promised in God’s Word.

We are so grateful to God for answered prayer. Today, Beth is living a life for God and is celibate. Her pastor knows her story and she brings much joy to our lives.

Our granddaughter had her 25th birthday in August. She is considered healed but does suffer from Avascular Necrosis, as a result of the chemo, radiation and medications she was given while being treated for Leukemia. God is faithful.

During those almost 24 years, we had no one to talk too and didn’t want anyone to know about Beth and her lifestyle. We had no direction. We were ashamed and I felt guilty. What did I do to cause this? What could I have done differently? How can I “fix” this? Mothers, in particular I’ve learned, want to “fix” things. We had no support, no family nearby, but then again, who wants their family to know? We kept our secret to ourselves. It was very painful all those years.

We talk quite often with Beth regarding those almost 24 years. She said she always knew we loved her. She and Fred have a very good relationship. She has reminded me that I always ended our phone conversations with “I love you and so does Jesus.” At the time she resented it, but she knew it was true. A seed planted.

It was about six months after Beth left the lifestyle, that we learned of a support group in Columbus, Ohio and were invited to attend. We chose to visit Bridge of Hope and found the ministry also had a support group for spouses. There was none for parents and we wanted to learn, so we went to the spouses group. Fred was the only man in the group. We attended for a year. At the end of the year, we were asked to lead a Parent’s Support Group. We accepted and served in that position until June 2010, when we became co-Directors of Bridge of Hope.

In September 2006, we had the opportunity to develop another support group for relatives and friends at our church. We call it “Circle of Love.” Our logo is a crown of thorns with a single red drop to represent the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins, and His never ending love, mercy, and grace which is extended to the parent/family/friend and to their loved one.

The crucifixion and sacrifice of Jesus Christ was for all sin, including the sin of sexual immorality. God is faithful to complete the work He has begun in our loved ones’ lives, and we have the hope for change and a new life in Christ for those we love and pray for.

Circle of Love began as a ministry to relatives and friends. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, we opened our group to men and women who deal with unwanted same-sex attraction. We have been amazed at what God is doing in this ministry. In our meetings there is no condemnation, or judgment. The love of God is shown in the compassion, concern and healthy friendships that have developed. Again, God is faithful. He never fails. We are blessed to have our Bridge of Hope leaders join us in ministry in this group.

Our granddaughter has been in remission since 2001 and is now 25 years old. She attends the Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, Ohio. She is a Christian and brings us a lot of joy. Over and over, God has shown us His faithfulness in so many answered prayers.

May we be His hands in this world and a reflection of His everlasting love.

“May the God of hope fill us with joy and peace as we trust in Him, so that we may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV

Nora Seemann is the director of Bridge of Hope in Columbus OH.

“Daddy, I’m gay”. I was devastated by those words. What had I done wrong for my son to choose this path for his life?

Daddy I’m Gay By Bill Creech

Bill & Phyllis Creech | Family Ministry LeadersBill’s Story

I was raised in a Southern Baptist home by a father and mother who are even today examples of what parents should be. They are both solid Christians who instilled Christian values in my siblings and me and there was never the fear that anyone in our family would ever become “gay”. Of course that is how most of us feel about our lives, that the really bad things happen to other people. At least I don’t remember hearing talk on that subject until I was in high school. When I was a young boy a conversation about homosexuals wasn’t considered suitable in the presence of children or even in mixed company.

The worst words I think I have ever heard in my life were “Daddy, I’m gay”. Those words can send chills down the spine of the strongest man when he hears them from his son. I was devastated by those words. They rang in my ears month after month. What had I done wrong for my son to choose this path for his life? Being a logical person, I decided that he would respond to logic and tried to approach it in that way during the few conversations that we had in those early years of his new lifestyle.

I didn’t know what to do or how to respond to him and at the same time keep our conversations calm. It was a very difficult time for both of us. One thing I knew was that I loved him so much and I wanted him to know that, so I began telling him “I love you” every chance I got. What could I do to reach my son who had taken a path that was both unknown to me and contrary to my beliefs? I realized that I was basically ignorant about the subject, but I wanted to know as much as I could so I could “rescue” my dear son from being gay.

I began reading about the gay lifestyle from a book my pastor encouraged me to read Desires in Conflict. I had been questioning my responsibility in all of this and what I had done or might have done to help precipitate my son’s feelings and actions. I can look back over the years and remember when he was the only boy in the neighborhood so he had to play with the girls. I didn’t always take the time to play with him that I probably should have because I was busy. We did play games together occasionally and I even helped him some with playing on a baseball team. But then his mother and I divorced, and we didn’t get to see each other as much; mostly every other weekend. I hated that situation because I missed my kids so much. Divorce causes more pain than can be imagined most of all hurting the children whom are innocent. Perhaps that is why God says in Malachi 2:16 “I hate divorce”.

I guess most of us think that with knowledge there is power, but that is only true if the knowledge is Truth. The only truth I trust is God’s truth. I had relied on Jesus for so many things in my life and I trusted Him, but what did He want me to do now? Should I preach to my son about the sin of living this kind of life? Should I just accept the gay lifestyle as okay simply because ”these are modern times”? Should I just write off my son and let him go his own way because it seemed there was nothing I could do? I had so many questions, but I already knew the answer. God’s answer to me was from Matthew 22:37  “Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” The answer was that my Biblical responsibility to my son was to love him, and love him as Christ loves me: unconditionally.

I can say that I do love my son unconditionally and I know that he loves me. Such a simple concept, but what power that action holds. My son and I have a very good relationship and we continue to work on it every time we see each other, talk on the phone, or share E-mails. I can feel his love, and his desire to get closer to me. We have discussed how each of us stand on the subject of the gay lifestyle. I believe that it is against the will of God and is presented as such in the Bible. (Romans 1:21, 26-27)

I know that God loves my son even more that I do, but He won’t make him change. He loves him but He gave to him, and to all of us, a free will to decide what he will do and what he will be. My responsibilities are to love him, pray for him, and respect him whether I agree with his beliefs or not. I am not responsible for his decision to remain gay. His responsibilities are to love me and to respect me and my beliefs whether he agrees with them or not. For now, it is enough to love him and to trust God.

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