It’s Sunday. I have taken an unusual break from sitting on my front porch this weekend (a.k.a. The Coolest Porch in Reno… where a huge bear decided to take an evening jog by my house last week. Let me tell you, it was freaky.). I am in South San Francisco for a much needed sabbatical from my busy life of raising my Three Little Birds and teaching other people’s kids.
As I write this, I am enjoying today’s unique sunrise from The Coolest Porch in San Fran. I can see the bay and city from here and am wowed at the complexity of creativity and ingenuity of the humans that God created. I mean, look at this place! Not only did God allow for such a beautiful coastal area, but the Creator endowed us with the ability to come up with major technology and expansion prowess (even if some people may consider that a bad thing). To piggy back on that thought, I am sitting here being able to write all of my thoughts in my head down into a computer connected to the world for anyone to read who feels inclined to simply “click” on my link. Wow! We are pretty amazing and intelligent people to have such a thing.
I love Sundays when I take the time to truly worship the Maker. Life is so good!
I finally have the time to read the book that my good friend Kathy Baldock of Canyonwalker Connections recently published. It’s good. I mean, REALLY good. What was supposed to be somewhat of a memoir when she first started tackling the topic of LGBT inclusion in the Christian church, turned into a lengthy research project that spans time. It is insightful and in my humble opinion, an excellent piece of literature to be able to give to Christians and non-Christians alike. It gives history, testimony and examples of God’s work in all people, including the LGBT community.
And yes, my story is also included on page 326 in the chapter section about Mixed Orientation Marriages. Some of the people I have had the pleasure of being introduced to (Chet, Lynn, Jerry, Mark and Cheri) are also included in that chapter, and their stories lend insight to affirming and non-affirming Christians as to changes the Church needs to make in handling families in their congregations when a spouse comes out of the closet.
There needs to be change. End of story.
I have never met an individual who has gone through the tumultuous time of a spouse coming out of the closet whose church and leaders handled the situation lovingly and with compassion. And if yours did, PLEASE contact me. I need to know your story. We need some added hope here on this site regarding how churches handle our unusual situation!
It’s all about relationship building, when it comes to the Church and Christians finding a way to understand the LGBT community. If you’re new to this site and have recently found out that your spouse is gay or bi or whatever other letter represents your spouse, please know that you can find positivity here. I understand if you are in the position I was in, nearly 10 years ago, finding out your spouse, Christian or not, is gay.
It simply sucks, to put it mildly. There’s no other way around it.
And now what you have to go through, from this moment on, really sucks. The only hope you can cling to is that if you keep moving forward in your unique situation, you are not alone. You can also begin to hope that you will make it through this, however long it takes, by relying on stories and encouragement from others. But you have to keep moving forward, trusting that you will turn out to be a more complete and whole person than you are now. Because if you don’t cling to that, then you might be a miserable person in the end. And no one wants that.
Be hurt. Be angry. Be bitter, even. But move forward with all of the strength you can muster, even if you take 17 steps back. You have to want to get through it to the other side, whatever that may look like for you, in order to get there. And along the way, know that you are loved by many, especially the ones who have been through it before.
And if you are not a person of faith, you will get zero judgement from me. If you are a person of faith, memorize the Serenity Prayer, stat. Repeat it like a mantra, because the only thing you want is peace (serenity), and the only way you’re going to get there is to accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can, and understand the difference between the two.
I wrote a little piece about this prayer awhile back, and if you would like to read it, click here.
On a related note, there were some interesting things that happened this last week during one of the nation’s largest denominational get together conferences, the SBC.
Thank you, Kathy Baldock, Matthew Vines, Robin Lunn and Jeff Hood (and all you other warriors) who attended the SBC Conference this last week. Your mission was to build relationships, and it looks like that’s what happened. For those of us who have been hurt by the Church in some way because of the MOM that we didn’t ask for, your efforts to find a bridge between our stories and the Church is appreciated.
Here is an article posted in the Baptist News Global that mentions all of us straight and gay spouses who needed some bridge building between our faith and our situations, but didn’t receive it. There is hope for us straight spouses of faith, and I am thankful these people are taking our issues to the front lines.
Life is wonderful, God is good, and there is no fear in love. Find hope, find it somewhere, and cling to it.
Happy Sunday from The Coolest Porch in San Fran,
P.S. If you want to purchase a copy of Kathy’s book, you can do so here. Much love to you, my dear friend. Our meeting was divinely inspired.