A Mother’s Humble Prayer

A Mother’s Humble Prayer
May 28, 2024

By Melissa Russell. Melissa is a mom of three adult kids, an interviewee for the Parenting LGBTQ Kids video series, and a group facilitator for Helping Parents Love.


We learned of our son’s gender dysphoria and his decision to begin transitioning on the same day we received my husband’s cancer diagnosis. From that day forward, we were fighting simultaneous life-threatening battles. I didn’t want anyone to tell me it was all going to be okay.

Surely this was NOT God’s will. He had the power to heal my husband, and He would help me stop my son from transitioning.


But He didn’t. I am a widow with a trans daughter. I was left with this conundrum: If I believe God is sovereign and all-powerful—which I do—could this be His providence? Could He have allowed this for a reason?


As I continue to co-parent with the Holy Spirit, He is giving me hope. This is NOT the end of the story. We are in the messy middle. The angels are weeping with me, but the Spirit is gently guiding me into wisdom and truth.


Here are some questions I believe the Holy Spirit has revealed to me as I’ve been doing grief work. (Yes, grief is work. That’s why it’s exhausting!) If your story is anything like mine, maybe these questions will help guide you as you grieve the revelation of your child’s inner turmoil, fortifying you with compassion. Maybe they will help you evaluate your own approach to parenting an LGBTQ child.


  • Am I concerned that acceptance of my adult child will look like agreement with them?
  • How much am I motivated by fear, shame, or pride?
  • How much do I trust the Lord to parent my adult children?
  • Do I really believe He can use anything and work through every situation?
  • Would I be a better parent if I accepted, by faith, that God has a plan for my children that may look different than my plan for them?
  • Is it possible that my MOST important job as a parent to my children is to reflect God’s unconditional love to them?
  • Have I given myself permission to love my child unconditionally?
  • Can I show them love without judgment?
  • Am I courageous enough to be genuinely curious about their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs—especially when these don’t mirror my own faith or worldview?
  • Is it possible that my child could come to faith through this experience? If so, what would my part in that look like?
  • Can I hide my hopes and dreams for my kids in the Lord, so that I am not holding these hopes over their heads as damaging expectations?


These questions have led me into some deep soul work. The Lord has used all of this—ALL of this—to bring me to the point of surrender. He allows what He allows for my good and His glory. I’m learning that the only person I can change is myself. If I cooperate and do the work He requires of me, He will be faithful to do the rest.


So, here’s my humble prayer. We parents may not be able to “fix” our kids, but we have the privilege and opportunity to model to them what humility, repentance, and surrendered hearts look like. If, like me, you are plagued by fear and concern about your child’s future, you can make this prayer your own:


Lord, remind me that while we were all sinners, you loved us and died for us. It brings me such peace to reflect on the fact that there is no sin that can put us out of your reach. There is no way we can hide from your radical love. Lord, allow me to surrender to you ALL my fears, worries, and concerns over my children, so I can live the full life you have designed for me, and they can too. I will trust you with my children, and I will trust you to guide me in parenting them. In your strength and in your holy name, Jesus, AMEN.