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Stories have the power to change the world … they inspire us, teach us, connect us. This is the twelfth installment in the “Stories That Change The World” series.

Matt and Steve

JoAnn Forsberg is one of the members of my private Facebook support group for Christian mothers of LGBT kids. Not only is JoAnn the mother of an LGBT kid but she also has a brother who is gay. Because of this she has been a Christian advocate for LGBT people for many years.

This is the beautiful testimony JoAnn gave at her brother’s wedding.

Matt and Steve were legally married on September 6th, 2015 after 23 years together. They were married at the United Church of Christ in Midland, Michigan, where they have faithfully attended church together for over a decade.

A sister’s loving words to her brother and his husband …

Like many across America. I have spent decades in prayer to see marriage equality and this day in Matt and Steve’s life.

So…. What a day!

First: God Bless America that we can be here today celebrating Matt and Steve’s wedding!!!!

Next…. God bless those whom laid the foundation of our families!

Our grandparents: Lloyd and Rose, who gave all for their daughter, Dee, our beautiful, loving mom, here today. Then, her four kids… Us , all here today, along with the future generations to honor Matt and Steve.

Then, remembrance of our dad, Ken along with Steve’s mom, Dar, who are in Heaven.

Then, the devotion of Steve’s dad, Ben; and Steve’s siblings: Scott and Sue. Here today sharing their love.

God bless family and friends. Today and past, as each person effects the life of one another. Each person here, a person who has given along the path of life.


I am not sure I have ever told you, my siblings, Matt. Sue and Ken.

That you taught me the meaning of the word love. For emotions come and go. But, love… That’s eternal.

As children, Kenny and I always had a bond. But, for me to understand loving another human. It began when I first saw Matt.

I was six years old…. When mom walked into our home on McCaulf Street in Lansing, Michigan. Matt was one day old… The first newborn I had ever seen and the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

My heart there and then opened… With the love for another… Then grew larger when Sue, our sister was born.

All through childhood I felt a love for my siblings that I did not feel again until my own four were born.

That maternal love…. That messy love… of crayon drawings, sharing toys, scraped knees, tears and laughter. That sick child nights and spilled milk type of love.

It was the early 1990’s when Matt, in his late 20’s had a gall bladder surgery. Sue, mom and I went to help. While we were there. This young, handsome guy named Steve came to visit Matt.

I stood there…. Watching the eyes of Matt and Steve looking at one another… And I knew… This was it…. This was his love… Romantic love… that once in a life time love. Type of love I already shared with my husband, Dennis.

Time. Decades went on. Day by day Steve and Matt built a life together. Yet, something was missing… A family…. That messy type of maternal love that children bring.

Nick, as a teenager, came into their life. Bringing the beginning of family. Which now includes Robin, Nick’s love.

Yet, it was not complete. So prayers continued and our precious Eli found his way to earth and into their lives and our hearts forever.

When Eli was born in 2009. Steve and I stood and looked at one another in the hospital. Both doing all we could to not turn into blubbering idiots.

For seeing Eli, was like the first time I saw Matt.


Overflowing from the heart. Maternal, instinctual love.

So today…. We celebrate love… We celebrate life… We celebrate the devotion of generations. We celebrate friends and family…

We celebrate The commitment we give to one another, as humans, to help one another through life.

To Matt and Steve!

To all they give!

To love!

God bless you all!







(If you are interested in joining the private Facebook group for moms of lgbt kids send an email to lizdyer55@gmail.com and put “Mom’s Facebook Group” as the subject.)