Tell Your Heart To Beat Again

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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┬ámy 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

The Love of a Woman

We are still a thing. We are still together.

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.

The love of a good, faithful, and Godly woman.

My wife.

My treasure.

-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

When Inadequcy Drives

Lots of things drive us. Success, money, prestige, position, authority, power, the past, present, and future. These drivers tend to steer our thoughts, moods, and ability to act in ways that we want to.

One driver that negatively impacts my sense of self-worth and mood at any given time are all my inadequacies. Especially in my relationship with my wife. These thoughts of inadequacy steer me toward feelings that range from deep embarrassment to extreme self loathing, and include great sorrow for her pain.

I can’t let those thoughts and feelings dictate my directions and decisions. I must be in control of all of my faculties…both body and mind.

It is kind of like an MMA match inside my being. My will pitted against the will of my opponent.

I must win.

At all costs.

Mind over matter.

I must be in control, not my inadequacies or any of the other things I listed above.

In control. Honestly. Transparently. Actively.

I drive.

-Trevor