Thursday, June 14, 2012

revelation at the lake

upon this boat dock i spoke the first words of my coming out.

i believe
GOD spoke to me
and i choose to trust what i heard, felt, saw, and experienced.  
i'll allow you 
to believe what you choose 
or do not choose to believe.  

"it's time...
she's waiting for you to talk to her.
she's preparing for her future without you."

those words resonated 
so loud, so clear
i could do nothing more than prepare myself to tell her...
my faithful wife for 22 years.

it was a challenge to speak such profound
life changing words to the person you love 
in a tiny house filled with others i loved.

so i chose to write my initial words.

i have no idea what i wrote.
i trust i wrote about my love and 
that it had never been a lie.
i also know i wrote about my denial 
and the truth i had been pushing away.
i most likely admitted that these two truths 
were not necessarily compatible
ingredients for a future either one of us deserved.
i wrote something like this.

later that day when my wife
was sitting on the deck talking on the cell phone
i walked up to her and handed her my words 
then immediately walked down the steps
down the hill 
and to the end of the dock 
and sat.

when i sat down
tears like i have never cried before
came flowing out of me.
they ran down my face 
into my shirt 
down my leg.

i wept.  
i could hardly breathe.
life had shifted and moved
and there was no turning back
no more pushing away the reality of my 
GOD created nature.

then i heard footsteps 
on the dock.
she had read the words
and she came to me
and sat by me
and said to me
the very words 
GOD had spoken to me the night before - 
"I've been waiting for this moment."

and she spoke.
she spoke beautiful
loving words to me.
so many words of love.

for we had not loved each other in vain.
what we lived had been real and genuine.
we respected each other.
we protected each other.
we supported each other.
we were proud of each other.
we had created a most phenomenal family with each other. 
we had served churches together.
we had struggled together fighting 
for the fuller acceptance of women 
in the church 
and combating ongoing racial injustice 
as our son is bi-racial in a world where race still matters. 
we loved each other
and that was our story
despite what anyone thought or would think when 
the news of our divorce and my "gayness" hit 
the gossip mill.

but for that moment we held on to each other
cherishing what we had lived.

we cried for three days.
we took long walks and cried.
we listened to favorite songs while every
one else was asleep 
and cried.
we looked across the room at each other 
and silently cried.

tears dammed up for so many years
flooded our lives.

(of course this is my telling of our story
i do not presume to speak for my ex-wife...
i simply tell what i remember from my 

we didn't know it then 
but those tears would continue 
into the next months
and years.

in that moment 
and in that space
we simply held on to each other
because what we had 
was real.

in the midst of the tears
we made plans.

as the prudent, responsible people 
we are....
we made plans.

we would stay together 
until our daughter graduated.
our son had already
launched into his life. 

we had lived 22 years together 
we could certainly live 
2 more together.  

so we had time...
time to adjust to the unknown future.

that was the plan 
we made that day.

like many plans
our life didn't 
take the course
we had charted.

we did not anticipate 
how deep grief can get.

i won't share the details of the darkness
that is a story for GOD's 
dealing and healing.

i will share 
from my perspective 
the journey i took.

i seemingly lost all
only to find out 
the shadow of the valley of death
does not have the last word. 

while at the lake 
i spoke my story to my wife.
then to my best friend
and then
i began to slowly prepare my daughter.

dietrich bonhoeffer said:
when we speak our brokenness
it no longer has power over us.

i was prepared to speak...
but i had no idea 
just how difficult
breaking the power of brokenness 
would be.

it was 
the hardest thing 
i've ever had to do.

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