Friends Who Struggle

"Umbrella"by lakewentworth is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

I became friends with someone who struggled with lesbianism. She along with her husband came to a book study my husband and I led. It was through this study we became friends. We also went to the same church.

This is where I have been

At the time, I did not know about Christy’s struggle. We never discussed it. She never acted on it. After sometime however, I came to know about her struggle with lesbianism anyway. And when I did, I convinced myself it was satan suggesting we should no longer be friends, when it was actually the voice of God whispering in my ear.

While visiting my parents God got my attention through a message I heard at church. I went home having made the decision to obey God and end our friendship but instead it was Christy who left.

Through a letter she told me about a trip she had taken and someone she had meet. Shortly after, she left her husband, their children and moved to be with the woman she had met and to attend school. We were all in shock, especially her husband and children. This was the last I heard or saw of her. That was many years ago now. I hardly ever think of Christy anymore.

This is what I learned

The first thing is why God asked me to leave my friendship. It wasn’t what I thought. It wasn’t because Christy was gay. It had less to do with her than me. God asked me to leave to see if, like Abraham with Isaac (Genesis 22:10), I would obey Him. Of course, this was a test. God already knew what I would do.

As Jesus befriended sinners and tax collectors, God wants me to do the same. This brings Him great joy. But it has to be His way, not mine. I have to obey Him no matter what He asks, trusting Him even when it doesn’t make sense. Otherwise, He is not the One in charge. I am. When I’m in charge I mess things all up, I get led astray, and I’m not covered by His Spirit.

Struggling with sin is not the same as practicing it. I don’t know exactly where Christy’s choices led her because we lost touch. But it would appear she crossed the line between struggling and practicing. Had she lost a battle? I am not sure about this so I will address it in another post.

The second thing I learned are those who are lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgender maybe struggling with their identity. Christianity has a lot to say about identity. By being their friends we can help them know that their identity is not in a group, or in a person, or in a movement; they are not a label.

If they are Christians, their identity is rooted in Jesus. Who they are, depends on Him. They are brothers and sisters in Christ. They are children of God. By faith in Christ’s life, death and resurrection, they are “fully pleasing, totally accepted, deeply loved, and a new creation in Christ.” Isn’t it amazing who we are in Christ? Believing this truth will bring healing to anyone.

Third, being friends with those struggling with difficult issues will affect you. There is a cost. When Christy left her family and the truth came out, guilt was assigned to me because of our friendship. Some people were genuinely concerned but others were self-righteous and judgmental.

Last month’s WORLD Magazine wrote about a similar situation. A couple became friends with a guy, who later was arrested, for making meth. “We were his only friends. And we learned something about what it means to love the sinner. You love the stranger, and you will be strange. You love the sinner, and your neighbors will hate you because they will think that you are colluding in some way.”

This is where I am today

Recently, on this blog I have been doing a lot of soul-bearing. This post has been particularly helpful to me. Because of Christy, writing this story has made the LGBTQ movement more real to me. I now look at these people and see my friend.

For me to befriend someone who is hurting, broken or ashamed, God must continue to grant me liberty from my fears and prejudices. The more free I am, the more I can share the Good News:  Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and by believing we have life in His name.

© 2019 Lena Rae

End Notes:
Name and circumstances have been changed
Luke 5:29-32
Robert McGee, Search for Significance
Marvin Olasky, “Gospel Hospitality,” WORLD MagazineJune 29, 2019, pg 26
John 20:31, NASB, 1960

Published by

Lena Rae

I love Jesus! He is my eternal hope, fullness of joy, calm in the storm and so much more. I enjoy reading, cooking, blogging and bird watching. I have two wonderful kids and a loving husband. God is good.

4 thoughts on “Friends Who Struggle”

  1. Wonderful post! I especially enjoyed this you shared, ”I have to obey Him no matter what He asks, trusting Him even when it doesn’t make sense. Otherwise, He is not the One in charge.” What a punch!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Perhaps what applies is the very old addage: hate the sin and love the sinner.
    But let us also keep in mind that some have become so intrenched in their godlessness – and that can take
    many, many, forms – they no longer hear our love expressed anymore. That means they’ve tuned out God, too. I think the Holy Spirit also lets us know when we need to let a certain situation go and leave it totally to Him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For her to leave her family she had to have tuned God out. She was deceived and you’re right it was beyond me. It is my hope that in the years since that time, God has gotten her attention and steered her back to Himself.

      Like

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