Introducing Sister Julie Martin
If you met me at Church I probably wouldn’t stand out as any one unusual. Like most of you I struggle with my weight, worry about my children, love and support my husband and try to get my visiting teaching done before the last week of the month. I don’t always get two prayers in a day, but I try really hard to at least open my scriptures before I start cleaning up the breakfast dishes. And, I have a son who is homosexual.
For years before Sean officially came out, there were lots of signs that should have alerted his father and I to the fact that something was up, but we didn’t want to see them or even think of it as a possibility. And when at last we were confronted with the real undeniable truth, my world fell apart, crashing around me like a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle that had suddenly been turned on its side
I love my son with all my heart, and yet I did everything in my power to rescue him from this homosexual thing. I argued with him, bribed him, threatened, teased, mocked and harassed. I justified these behaviors because I felt I was trying to save his life and protect our eternal relationship as a forever family. In the process I nearly destroyed my relationship with him. Eventually I had to accept the fact that there was nothing I could do to change Sean or make it all better.
I carry this secret pain inside of my heart every day, and I mourn the loss of my dreams and desires for him. I try hard to understand the choices he is making in his life, and have learned great lessons in patience and hope. But mostly, I just love my son, and I hope that however this story plays out tomorrow and for the eternities, this will be enough.
There are a lot of mothers and fathers just like me - I am finding out - trying to faithfully raise their families in righteousness while struggling with a child who’s chosen a path away from the safety of the gospel. Many good obedient moms and dads mourn and pray for kids who have become addicted to drugs, alcohol or other sexual sins, and it’s hard to stand helplessly on the sidelines as our loved ones use their gift of agency to make choices we think are foolish and that will bring them pain and sorrow not just in the long-term – but today and tomorrow.
Parent’s who have children who are homosexual, can feel particularly isolated. There’s a perceived dark shadow associated with homosexuality that is difficult to break through, and a sense of secrecy that forces us to keep our child’s problems safe from the judgment and censure of those around us. “Sure Sean, you can bring one of your friends to the ward pool party, but please choose one who looks more…well, one who doesn’t wear a tight tank top…okay, and … no PDA, and I am not talking about your palm pilot.”
My objective in writing this book is to share the things I’ve learned over this journey, perhaps save other parents some of the needless heartache I’ve suffered through, and maybe share comfort with those who are hurting.
Homosexuality and being Mormon can be a difficult thing to manage but it is not anywhere near a death sentence for you, your loved one or your family. So take a pill.