Parents of LGBT Children

Dear parent,

We know how shocking and confusing it can be to discover that your child has same-sex attraction or discloses that they are gay. Dr. Hallman and Paige have 30 years of combined experience in working with faith-based parents who desire to understand more about homosexuality and their child’s lived experience of same-sex attraction. We work from a compassionate stance, validating the parent’s feelings and beliefs while also encouraging the parent to continue extending love and grace to their child.

The Desert Hope team is dedicated to honoring, educating, and supporting parents while traveling this road. Because caring for parents is one of our primary missions, we provide a variety of different opportunities and approaches to help parents receive the guidance and support they need.

Pastoral Coaching

Desert Hope offers pastoral coaching to parents of gay and lesbian children via office visit, Telephone or SKYPE. The Desert Hope coaches (Janelle Hallman and Paige Smith) are committed to honoring the parent as the expert in his/her life and family, and believe they are creative and resourceful. Coaching appointments are for the purpose of developing a parents relational skills and abilities, and of strengthening the parent/child bond. It can also help deal with issues and challenges before they become major problems; however, it is not for psychotherapy. Coaching sessions are typically 50 minutes.

The role of a Desert Hope coach is to:

  • Help the parent discover, clarify, and align from within themselves what they want to achieve

  • Encourage the parent in their discovery process

  • Elicit solutions and strategies from within themselves

  • Partner with the parent as you rely on Christ’s teachings and presence to guide the process

Meet Paige Smith

Paige graduated from Denver Seminary with her masters in Clinical Mental Health. She met Janelle Hallman while at Denver Seminary and quickly realized the divine inspiration behind this relationship. Janelle and Paige both have deep passions for increasing awareness, education, and healing for churches and families with LGBT loved ones. Paige has been trained under Janelle to provide pastoral coaching to parents of children with same-sex attraction or identified as LGBT. It is her honor and joy to provide space for parents to process their honest feelings while remaining open and hopeful for how God can work within these relationships.

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Recommended Books

  • Embracing the Journey: A Christian Parents’ Blueprint to Loving Your LGBTQ Child” by Greg and Lynn McDonald. A sympathetic, compassionate, and inspiring guide for parents, from the founders of one of the first Christian ministries for parents of LGBTQ children.

  • “The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction: A Comprehensive Counseling Resource” by Janelle Hallman. The fruit of years of training, research and counseling experience, Janelle Hallman has drawn together a comprehensive resource for those who are interested in understanding and counseling faith-based women with same-sex attraction who seek to remain true to a conservative sexual ethic and who are exploring their sexual identity.

  • Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate” by Justin Lee. Finally, a sensible, loving, and biblically based response to the controversy that pits the church against the LGBT community and that divides Christians from each other.

  • “Love is an Orientation” by Andrew Marin. This book is changing the conversation about sexuality and spirituality, and building bridges from the GLBT community to the Christian community and, more importantly, to the good news of Jesus Christ.

  • Us vs. Us The untold story of religion and the LGBT Community” by Andrew Marin. Andrew Marin brings the startling findings of his largest-ever scientific survey of the religious history, practices, and beliefs of the LGBT community. Marin’s findings offer clear direction for both sides of a long cultural battle to meet in the middle, sacrificing neither conviction nor integrity as they rediscover the things they have in common and the hope found in Christ alone.

Retreats for Parents of LGBT children

A Sacred Journey

This retreat is available if you want to bring Janelle (and staff) out to you! We have been doing these retreats for the last 18 years. It has only been recently, that we can no longer offer these on a regular basis BUT are ready to do so should the demand arise!

What is it?

A Sacred Journey is a three-day small group experience with up to ten other mothers of daughters with same-sex attraction (or the retreat could be open to all parents of either a son or daughter). Because of Janelle’s extensive experience with women with same-sex attraction, she is uniquely positioned to help mothers (and fathers) understand their daughter’s life as well as heal or strengthen their relationship with their daughter.

What Will Happen?

Starting on Friday evening and ending on Sunday afternoon, time will be spent in teaching, personal reflection, sharing, learning, inspirational readings, dialogue, fellowship, training, processing, eating, praying, crying, and laughing.

Specifically, mothers in attendance will:

  • Share their own personal history and story as it relates to parenting and current relationship with their daughter.

  • Hear a personal story from a woman who has same-sex attraction.

  • Hear a personal story of healing and growth from a mother of a lesbian daughter.

  • Gain a deeper understanding of her daughter and why she may act or communicate in the way she does.

  • Receive training on communication techniques that will help to secure and stabilize a strong, warm attachment with her daughter.

  • Receive personal coaching on her special relationship with her daughter.

  • Obtain practical tips in handling other family relationships and concerns in light of their daughter’s sexuality.

  • Discover how to build a personal support system.

  • Gain personal insight and experience hope and joy in the midst of sorrow and loss.

  • Be encouraged, refreshed, and strengthened for the journey ahead.

Schedule
Friday evening:
6:00 pm – Introductions and Paperwork – Drinks and a light dinner will be provided.
7 pm – 9:45 pm – Formal Evening Schedule
Saturday:
8:30 am – 9:45 pm
Sunday:
8:30 am – 2 pm

Professional Counseling

Desert Hope

Contact Janelle or Paige

 
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Janelle and Paige having fun!

Janelle and Paige having fun!

 
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"Our life changed forever the day my husband & I discovered that our 25-year-old daughter was in a same-sex relationship. I lived in daily shock, anguish & isolation from my Christian friends (most of whom knew nothing of our heartbreak). As a precious gift, God provided the “A Sacred Journey: Healing a Mother’s Heart” retreat with Janelle Hallman. God has prepared Janelle’s heart for this special ministry by filling it with his love for our children & for us parents. Every session was deeply meaningful & educational, & I returned home with a deeper love for our daughter & a renewed hope for our future."

/  A special mom/

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"WOW! WHAT AN EYE OPENER. AT THE RETREAT, I WAS ABLE TO GET A VIEW OF THE BIGGER PICTURE. FIRST, GET MYSELF HEALED SO THAT I CAN BE AVAILABLE FOR MY DAUGHTER. SECOND, BE AVAILABLE TO HEAR HER, BE ATTUNED TO HER NEEDS. I REALIZED I HAD BUILDING BLOCKS MISSING IN MY LIFE AND THAT I NEED TO BE A WHOLE PERSON SO THAT I CAN LOVE MY DAUGHTER WELL."

/ MOTHER FROM NEW JERSEY /

"MY DAUGHTER AND I HAVE A VERY CLOSE AND NO LONGER ‘AWKWARD’ RELATIONSHIP, THANKS TO YOU. WE BOTH HAVE LEARNED TO LOVE LIKE JESUS AND ARE NOW PAST THE JUDGING AND HURT OF OUR DIFFERING BELIEFS."

/ MOTHER FROM THE MIDWEST /