My therapist told me that the more transparency I can have in my life, the happier I will be. I believe it. However, in my world, with my specific circumstances, it’s just not the best choice, either for me or for my family. I would experience more loss of close family than I care to deal with, and my wife and children would have to suffer multiple times more than they already do.
So, I continue to trust God for some kind of flourishing life within this cocoon…the shell that hides my straight acting, confident, hopeful, Christian, insecure, fearful, gay self.
It’s a place of safety. A place where I can hide, where all my stuff can be kept safely out of view of those who would never understand and who would wish me harm.
I work really hard at maintaining the shell’s strength and ensuring its integrity. But the tiniest fault line in this shell risks the oozing out of what I’ve kept so closely hidden for so long. I just can’t let that happen.
Except for the rare peek inside that I’ve allowed a few people to have, the cocoon remains intact.
I’m still here, alive and well…and doing a little better every day.
Today, I sent a FB message to those who I was pastoring when I screwed up. I admitted my sin and my failing. I admitted I failed them and God. I admitted that I really messed up the work God was doing through the efforts of our church plant. I admitted that I nearly lost my family in the process.
I asked for forgiveness.
It was therapeutic to my soul and mind. But more importantly, it was what God called me to do…sitting right there in church this morning.
Within just a few hours, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and forgiveness in expressive and gritty-honest replies. It is an amazing spectical of grace, mercy, and love the likes of which I have rarely witnessed to this point in my life…second only to that of my wife.
I recieved forgiveness….again; because, to a person, they all stated that they had forgiven me at the very beginning.
I have felt God’s presence in my life in special ways the last few weeks. The loving presence of my wife, children, and a community of faith are some powerful avenues through which I am experiencing the love and presence of my Heavenly Father.
Does that mean that “it” has gone away and that I’m now “fixed?” No.
It simply means that I’m finally reaching a place to understand that God loves me just the way I am and that He can give me strength to live my life in such a way that He is glorified and His Church is strengthened. I’m understanding that through the loving actions of my family and friends. Although most don’t know that I had a gay affair or that I secretly identify as a gay Christian man in a mixed-orientation marriage, those of them that do have had loving reactions just as those who don’t.
So, yeah. Today I cleared the air with some dear friends.
You might say it’s an answer to prayer. Or a miracle. Or luck. Or hard work.
You would be right in all that.
I say it’s also because of the love of a woman.
The love of a good woman who daily reminds me of the good in my world and my life. That love keeps me focused of the most important priorities and helps me ignor the temptation to dwell on the lesser and harmful things around me.
The love of a faithful woman who continues to walk beside me in true companionship. That love keeps me grounded in the right relationships.
The love of a Godly woman who displays a heart that longs to know more about her Father and grow in His grace. That love points me to my ultimate worth that transcends all earthly existence.
We didn’t know if we would make it through the first days of this journey…then the first weeks…first months…but now a few years into it, we continue to live and love each other in the midst of this journey. Due, in large part, to love.