I Want to Know My Future Divorce is very hard when you have children. It is even harder when you are a very religious family that is filled with ministers and missionaries. But the hardest thing of all is when you discover you are a lesbian. Your very important religious life comes crashing all around you because as far as your family and church is concerned you are a terrible sinner. When approaching the holidays that celebrate the life and death of Jesus Christ, it forces you to rethink how you will celebrate Christmas. You can’t go to the church you grew up in because you are no longer accepted. You don’t celebrate with your extended family as a couple because they will not accept the person you love so you are forced to go separately to family celebrations. I guess what I am really saying is ‘what Christmas means to me’ is not what it may mean to other Christian families.
Before the label of homosexuality became my life, I could hardly wait for the Christmas celebration to begin. I loved having the extended family holiday meal. Buying presents and making gifts for family and friends was not only fun, but something I looked forward to all year long! Finding just the right gift for my children and seeing their approval Christmas morning brought back wonderful memories. It was truly a December of fun activities filled with family, church events and lots of holiday parties. But this was not the case anymore! Now I was forced to celebrate Christmas without the favor of the people who use to be a big part of my life.
When I was divorced, I did not receive residential custody of my children even though it was proven I was the better parent, but I did get the Christmas holiday with them. My wife, Tori had sole custody of her son, but her parents refused to accept our relationship. They threatened to take Brad away from her if our relationship was ever discovered. As a result Tori was forced to celebrate every Christmas day with them. My parents gave me an open invitation to celebrate Christmas with my children at their house along with my brothers and sisters families. This I did rarely because being around the judgmental eyes they always cast in my direction was unpleasant. It wasn’t a Christmas celebration that was good for me or my children. So Tori and I were forced to start a new tradition for the Christmas holiday alone without extended family members.
Tori and I gave up many things when we became a couple, but the one thing we never gave up was Christmas. We both loved the holiday and celebrating it with our children. It may not have been like it was before, but for the most part it was better. Tori and I ran a very successful upholstery and design business. We were so successful that we had the ability to give presents to our children like we never had before. They were the first to have the latest toys and games. They had the best clothes and we treated them to blockbuster movies and special Christmas Broadway plays. What we couldn’t give them in extended family Christmases we made up with expensive restaurants and just plain fun!
We made Christmas very special. Tori and I started decorating in November and we added one new decoration to our home every year. One year the kids and I painted two giant nutcrackers we made out of plywood to adorn either side of our front door outside and lit them up with lights. Another year we decided we would decorate two trees in the house. Every year we added new ornaments to each tree. We loved Christmas so much that we decorated every room in the house in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. We had a manger with baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph displayed prominently on the fireplace and every year we added one more animal or person.
You would think that Tori and I had every right to turn our backs on our faith because of the persecution we suffered from the church and our religious families, but we didn’t! We celebrated Christmas! Every Christmas Eve we read the story of Jesus’ birth to our children. We prayed and thanked God for our Christmas meal. We practiced our faith and we never gave up on Jesus Christ as our Savior.
Luke 2: 11: “This very day in David’s town your Savior was born- Christ the Lord!”
Jesus was our Savior. He lifted us up even when society denied us the ability to marry. Jesus provided far and above our needs because we never let go of Him. Instead we changed into better people. We loved our neighbors and family unconditionally. We gave our tithe to City Union Mission to help the poor and homeless. We gave to ministries to help the families of prisoners. We were not victims, but servants of the Most High God.
Matthew 16: 24-27, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget himself, carry his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his own life will lose it: but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Will a person gain anything if he wins the whole world but loses his life? Of course not! There is nothing he can give to regain his life. For the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each one according to his deeds.”
We were destined to be a family. The stigma behind the wrong teachings over homosexuality was just a cross we had to bare to prove to people that love is the most important thing of all. It was a truth that God affirmed to us over and over again through the blessings He gave our family. Our extended families may have rejected us on earth, but our Heavenly Father did not. God has an eternal reward for us because we did not give up and let go of Him. What Christmas means to me is a blessing that I didn’t know I would receive until I participated in the life God predestined for me to live.
Linda C Dipman author of I WANT TO KNOW MY FUTURE http://lovinghandsministry.com presents I WANT TO KNOW MY FUTURE It will put you on the edge of your seat as you read each vivid detail. You will feel terror and experience love like nothing you have ever read before. Find out what happens when God fights for you! 5.0 out of 5 stars a powerful and very much recommended read. Midwest Book Review: I Want to Know My Future With nothing left, not even family, God may be the only thing left. “I Want to Know My Future” is a Christian memoir from Linda Dipman who ponders her rough journey when she was thrown in jail and forgotten by her church and family. When all seemed lost she relates how God was still there for her and she hopes her story will help other readers remember this important fact. “I Want to Know My Future” is a powerful and very much recommended read. The Christian Author Radio Show http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow-LDipman.html