Before I continue with the story I wanted to make a clarification. Julie had commented that she thought Laura was my first girlfriend. I had actually dated several women between 2000-2002, but I will say that Laura was my first serious relationship with a woman. OK, on with the story.
On the 4th of July in 2004 I spoke with my Mother several times. In one of the conversations I mentioned that Laura was thinking of moving in with me. My Mom's first question was "Which room is she going to sleep in?" I really didn't know what to say, so I told her I wasn't sure. I remember feeling like a teenager and I hated that feeling. When my Mom and I got off the phone Laura and I talked about the situation and I decided that I was tired of hiding who I really was and my family needed to know the truth. (I really think they knew, but were in denial) Within a couple minutes of my Mom and I hanging up the phone rang and it was my brothers wife. She told me that my Mom had just talked with her and had said, "if this is some kind of lesbian thing I will have nothing to do with her again." I knew what my Mom was saying was true and she would have nothing to do with me, but I needed to be honest with myself. It was time I stopped being ashamed of who I was.
I called my Mom and told her that Laura and I were partners and I was gay. There was silence on the other end of the phone. The next thing I knew my Mom hung up on me. I tried to call her back several times, but she would not answer the phone. At one point my Dad did answer and his only response was, "What in the world did you do?" I knew at this point there was no turning back.
I tried to call my Mom all that night and most of the next day, but she would not answer my calls. Laura kept telling me that she would eventually come around, but I knew deep in my heart that my Mom would never talk to me again.
Two days later I finally heard from my Mom. She sent me 3 emails telling me exactly what she thought of me. The emails were really hard to read, but it made me realize my Mom never really knew who I was. In one of the emails she told me I had one week to call the elders and tell them. I had no plans on calling the elders because I felt that what I was doing was not wrong.
As it turned out, my Mom didn't even give me a week because 5 days later one of the elders called me. This elder said that my Mom had called and discussed with him what I was doing. I explained to the elder that what I was doing was not wrong and I was not sorry about anything. He then explained that I would need to meet with the elders because a decision needed to be made. I am not sure why I agreed to it, but I told him I would meet with the elders.
After an hour meeting with the elders I waited 45 minutes while the three of them met in private to make a decision. Their decision was to disfellowship me for not repenting of my sins. I was not surprised and really had no emotion about their decision. I was not sad about being kicked out of the church again, but I knew it was going to be hard having to say goodbye to my family again. When I walked out the door that night the elders told me two things:
1) God would not hear my prayers
2) God would no longer love me
When you are disfellowshipped there is an announcement made to the congregation. I was told that my announcement would be made on July 29. I debated about not going, but decided to go since I had nothing to be ashamed about. I also was hoping to salvage some sort of relationship with my Mom and I felt that if I went for her then she would see that I did still love and need her. I walked in about 5 minutes before the announcement and sat next to my Mom. Right before the announcement was made my Mom reached over and grabbed my hand. The announcement took maybe thirty seconds and the second it was over my Mom let go of my hand. I truly believe that is when she let go of me completely and from that point on I was no longer her daughter. I then got up and walked out the door.
As I walked out I thought about what the elders had told me. As much as I didn't want to believe them, there was still a small part that wondered if they were right. I struggled with whether God loved me for months and months. When something would go wrong I would say it happened because God no longer loved me. It would take something big for me to realize that God did love me. Something big did happen and on June 10, 2005 I finally realized that God did love me and he did hear my prayers; all of them.
.........to be continued