"You told me to keep knocking, Lord, but I'm pounding now. I've prayed and prayed ... Why isn't anything happening? I want to hold my real daughter in my arms again ... I need her back again! Nothing will make sense anymore if she doesn't come back! What kind of cruel joke is this? She's only 17 ... How can You hate her? How can You call her an abomination when she doesn't even know why she's the way she is! If You're going to send her to hell then you might as well send me with her because I can't take any more of this! It just isn't fair!"
Back to that Sunday morning before Holy Communion ... The pastor waited a few moments for the congregation to become silent. He then looked directly at me and said: "God wants to renew His covenant with you this morning. He wants you to know that He is holding you in the palm of His hand and that He loves you. He wants you never to doubt that again. He will always be holding you ... even if you try to let go of Him sometimes."
My legs almost gave way underneath me. God was speaking directly to me. I knew that only God had heard my pleas. He was also the only one who knew that it wasn't my serving of the Holy Communion that I took that morning in front of the church. There would never be any doubt in my mind again. I knew that God was real from that moment on.
Shortly after that Sunday morning, my husband and I enrolled for pastor-guided Bible studies that were being offered at the church. Slowly but surely "God" became my "Father" as verse after verse revealed a relentless and unbelievably patient parent. From the very beginning of time this "Father" had already made preparations to save us from ourselves by offering his only Son as an eternally redeeming sacrifice.
Today the "culprit" whose sole purpose is to "steal, kill and destroy" continues using our own natural reasoning and logic against us. Exhausted by his complicated attacks on our lives, many of us risk accepting and becoming slaves to substandard lives. The Bible states clearly that our heritage was never meant to include, among other things, sickness, suffering, feelings of hopelessness and self-condemnation, but as Christians it is up to us to learn the truth of who we are in Christ. God has provided every spiritual weapon necessary to be used against the devil, but unless we arm ourselves and know how to use these weapons, our faith is rendered vulnerable.
The Bible says what it says about homosexuality, and that will never change. At this point in time my daughter doesn't see herself as a victim of the devil's antics, and to suggest deliverance to her without any teaching or exhortation is premature. As parents, however, we are determined to continue encouraging our daughter lovingly, by using our personal testimonies and experiences with God as examples and by sharing the information we learn in our Bible studies.
We have faith that in His time, the Holy Spirit will gently and tenderly inspire our daughter to approach God again. The revelation that she receives about the love that God has to offer—the same love that has the ability to conquer all—cannot come second hand. It must be searched for and lived. As a "born again" Christian and given the dignity and patience to work on her particular challenges, her church will need to play a major role in providing the compassion, support and learning environment necessary for her to mature and to move forward in her faith.
Ultimately, the choices that my daughter makes will be hers and hers alone to decide. But the God I know will be with her every step of the way, and He won't ever give up on her, either.
As for myself, I no longer have to live defeated and anxious about my daughter's future. I need to use—actually use—what I have learned to challenge and overcome any discouraging thoughts that may creep into my mind. This includes declaration after declaration found in the Bible that serve to transform my thinking, attitudes and perceptions into kingdom thinking, attitudes and perceptions.
Faith must be dynamic and active and working in the present tense. The devil never sleeps and, spiritually, neither can we. We must be consistent and relentless in our resistance to his tactics, as well as determined and dedicated to living the victory that Christ died to achieve. The God I know has provided all the promises and reasons for the hope that I stand on, and that's all that I need.
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