I just had a conversation with a friend who found out her mother had prayed that if being gay was a sin, that the Lord would take this daughter before she had drifted too far from God (yes, as in "take this daughter" out).
Yeah, so that’s yours truly. My mom dropped that bomb on me Saturday, telling me she prayed that prayer about nine years ago. I guess she thought it would be okay for me to hear about it now, because I’m evangelical and exgay and happily married and all that. Apparently she thought I would approve. But I must admit I still find it very, very disturbing.
What she prayed specifically was “Lord, I don’t think being gay is a sin, but if I’m wrong and it’s an abomination, please take my daughter before she drifts too far from you.” Shortly afterward, I became severely clinically depressed and also very physically ill, but the doctors couldn’t figure out why. According to my mom, at that point, she “hit her knees” and told God she changed her mind, told Him that there had to be "a better way". Thus, in a weird way she seems to be taking credit for my sudden illness and my recovery, and perhaps my conversion as well.
I’m reluctant to blog about this because I haven’t really processed it—I have more questions than answers. I didn’t think my mom was even a Christian then, and I know I sure wasn’t, so I’m not sure why she thought I was drifting away from God.In the following years, she continued to reiterate her belief that homosexuality wasn’t a sin and that she just wanted me to be happy, on numerous occasions expressed her opposition to my exgay path, and several times suggested that I should just find a nice girl and settle down. So the whole story makes no sense to me, but I’m far too freaked out right now to ask her to explain more fully.
It’s not that I think God was listening to her and that my life was actually in danger. I think it’s quite possible that it’s all a coincidence, perhaps made more striking by my mom’s possibly distorted memories and perceptions of the events which are after all now nine years old. (I can corroborate that I was very depressed and mysteriously very sick, but that’s about it.) I also think it’s possible that God made things happen the way they did to teach my mom something, although I’m not sure what it was, and I’m not sure how well she learned it.
But mostly I’m just disturbed and hurt that my mom would pray such a thing. I'm being told that I should be compassionate and understanding, because my mom was undoubtedly very confused. I'm sorry–confusion can excuse a lot of things, but asking God to exterminate your child isn't one of them. I'm not saying I don't forgive my mother. I'm just saying that I personally need to acknowledge that something happened, and it was really dark, and really wrong.
Anyway, while I'm not sure what else to say about this specific incident right now, it does seem like an opportune occasion to share my thoughts on praying bad things for people. So, onward to the next post…