I have been working closely with a woman to assist me in my recovery efforts from addictive behavior with food.
I have known this woman for a few years, casually-- from somewhat of a distance. I witnessed her work in group settings. She always struck me as calm, compassionate, and a real hard-ass. In other words, there was a right way and a wrong way to do things. She didn't let slackers slide through. I believe this is one reason I like working with her... I have my slacker tendencies, especially where this issue is concerned.
This woman is not a member of my congregation, but she works closely with several members on a community project. I had decided, a while ago, that I would not be coming out to her.
Yesterday, the winds of the Spirit blew in a new direction. Shortly after breakfast, I knew that I needed to talk to her. I knew that I needed to tell her.
This felt risky. I had no way of knowing what her position would be on my position. Would she think I was-- you know-- of the devil? Or something? But, addiction is about secrets. And I work so closely with this woman... I had already found myself fudging about Beloved and our relationship. I decided to take the risk.
She listened compassionately. She offered an open door should I want to talk about the complexities and challenges of this situation. She even offered thoughts on the folks from my congregation, where they might stand. She did not reject me.
As we parted, and she gave me a long, fierce hug, I found myself looking heavenward... it's such a strong instinct! And I said, "Thank you. Freedom is calling, and you are going to get me there."