The State of The Cocoon

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.

Thanks to the cocoon.

-Trevor

Clearing the air…kinda.

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.

Simply…amazing!

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.

Kinda.

-Trevor

Living With Chronic Pain

She is a hero.

Every day she is in continuous, nagging, dull, sharp, debilitating, depressing physical pain. At specific places…and all over. Some days are worse than others. Sometimes it comes in waves, the ebbs bringing some relief only to be replaced by the crashing of the flows. It’s her body that pains her so much.

In the midst of all that, she enjoys life, her children, her granddaughter, and me.

She is a hero.

Its called living with chronic pain.

It’s not just her body that hurts, her mind hurts. Memories, both good and bad, are the source of pain at times. Her heart hurts. Hopes and dreams that have been destroyed are the source of pain, as well. At times, I’m sure my presence causes her pain.

In the midst of all THAT, she still enjoys her life.

Its called living with chronic pain.

And she is heroic in how she deals with it all.

I, also, live in chronic pain. But my pain is not the same as her pain.

My pain comes from broken promises and vows, undervalued relationships, weakness in the face of temptation, damaged family and friends, and a lost life calling. And, from knowing I have caused so much of her pain. Among other things. Some never to be shared here. Or anywhere.

In spite of all that, I find joy in life.

Its called living with chronic pain.

But, it’s not heroic. I’m not much of a hero to anyone. Not sure that’s what I would really want, anyway. I’m not asking for anyone’s worship or sympathy.

I suppose I just wanted to say it.

It hurts.

-Trevor

iRemain

A husband who gives all he has to show his loving wife just how much he loves, cherishes, and respects her.

A man who works tirelessly to learn more, embrace new challenges, take on the imperfect in order to be given the chance at higher positions for the good of those who depend on him.

A guy who believes in God and believes that He loves him. But, sometimes he feels like he is the black sheep of the family that no one wants to talk about, unless it is to simply point out all negative things.

A man who, in spite of his portrayed confidence, keeps deeply hidden a nearly overwhelming sense of self-doubt.

A guy who breathes and sees behind this mask known as “Trevor.”

A person who in some ways is much more transparent than ever before, and more secluded than ever in other ways.

A guy who is intelligent, funny, personable, caring, selfless, and determined.

And yet…

Sorrow swallows my memories

Loneliness devours my peace

Depression taints my dreams

Hopelessness envelopes my passions

Countless flaws seemingly outnumber attributes

Still, I will…

Love

Live

Give

Dream

In the cocoon, in my own way, in His time…

I remain.

-Trevor

The Beautiful Mind Effect

It’s still there.

I’m loving my wife just a fully and faithfully as I know how. I’m avoiding anything and everything possible that would derail my integrity and destroy our relationship. Our peace, our laughter, our enjoyment, our intimacy is paramount to me. But in spite of all that awesome life I have with her…

It’s still there.

I’m trying my best to show my children that I love their mother and am deeply committed to our marriage. It is my hope that they will see and realize that I haven’t given up on us, on them, or on a happy future. But in spite of that…

It’s still there.

My mental state is one of sustained peace like none than I have experienced in a long time. My job situation is more stable, Our living arrangement is more agreeable. I’ve embraced who I am and what it takes to be contented with this crazy life that is mine. And it spite of that…

It’s still there.

My faith journey is one that is most interesting. I’ve come to believe that much of what I used to call my faith is simply organizational junk and mythical religiosity. I’m still sorting through many things, but I’ve stripped myself down to the bare bones of the basic tenets of the Christian faith. There are WAY more “non essentials” now in my faith than there used to be. But, in spite of all that…

It’s still there.

For as long as my memory goes back…the same now as at age 7 or 8…it’s still there.

The sight of a cute/handsome/hot guy catches my attention…and my mind wants to take me for a ride.

Ummm…<gulp>…focus!!

I’m calling it “The Beautiful Mind Effect”.

A Beautiful Mind is an awesome movie directed by Ron Howard and starring Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, and Jennifer Connelly. It is an absolutely engrossing depiction of the true life of Dr. John Nash, Princeton Mathematics Professor and Nobel Prize Winner, who happened to be a paranoid schizophrenic. In the final moments of the movie, Nash (portrayed by Crowe), in response to an inquiry of a colleague regarding his condition, said “I still see things that are not here. I just choose not to acknowledge them. Like a diet of the mind, I just choose not to indulge certain appetites; like my appetite for patterns; perhaps my appetite to imagine and to dream.”

Those really attractive guys that pass before my eyes are there. Really there…in flesh and blood. That’s the main difference between me and Nash. However, I am learning that my mind, like his, must be on a perpetual diet, I must choose not to indulge those “certain appetites.”

And I just want you to know how very difficult that is.

Very.

At times, it’s a hellish experience.

Because…my attraction to those guys…

Is still there.

– Trevor

Show Me What I Don’t Know

I get it.

I am a sinner. I have failed. I have miserably failed. I have broken promises. I have demolished covenant. I have undervalued love. I have stretched patience. I have assumed upon grace. I have presumed upon mercy.

You think I’m a mess. You tell me that frequently. So, you try to fix me, to redefine me, to rebirth me, to re-conceive me, to re-imagine me.

You preach about me. You lecture about me. You write about me.

You protest against me. You wish to isolate me. You want to banish me. You dream of imprisoning me.

You compare me to the worst of humanity’s evilness.

I get it. You don’t think much of me.

At least, that’s the message I’m receiving.

I know you say you are doing all that “in love.” I know that you say “loving the sinner, but hating the sin.”

You wanna know something?

I’m not buying it.

Because all your damned bluster sounds more like “hating the sinner” than anything else.

And…I’m not really getting that you “love the sinner” anywhere in all that. You say that you love me, but I’m not getting that at all. I, in fact, do not know that you love me.

I’m wondering, instead of telling me something that I don’t know, would you…could you…show me what I don’t know?

If you believe so strongly that Jesus is with you always and that His love is more powerful than any other force known to man, and you want me to experience His love, then why don’t you just show me?

Why are you so afraid of me and those like me? Why must you insist on speaking only about us, and not engaging us eye-to-eye?

Why must I always be kept at arms length, doubted and feared?

Why must my sexual habits be more important to you for defining my relationship with God than the testosterone-driven – and straight – male?

Why are the rules so exclusively and unequally harsh for me?

I suspect that the reason is that you simply don’t know me. You haven’t spent time with me. You haven’t asked me questions. You haven’t listened to my testimony of faith. You haven’t put your arm around me. You haven’t looked me in the eye.

You haven’t experienced my heart.

But, if you want me to really know that you love me, then that’s what you are going to have to do.

Show me.

-Trevor