Thursday, April 30, 2009

Excitement

The date of my coming out is fast approaching. I have already come out to several people as part of my process of preparing for the date.

I came out to a fellow minister in my local judicatory last summer.

I came out to a local clergy colleague (from another denomination) during Lent. This minister and the one mentioned above are part of my "A-Team," friends/ colleagues/ supporters.

I came out to my dad Easter week. I had a tender and somewhat difficult follow up conversation with him yesterday.

I haven't been sleeping well, he said.

Oh dad, why not? I asked him.

Because, he said, of what you told me. I just don't understand.

Well, I began slowly, What do you want to know?

Well, he said, How did it happen?

Oh dad, I said. Love is love, I guess that's my first explanation. (Then I went on to tell him of seeing Beloved at an art show and asking her for coffee, and then dinner.)

So, he said, it just unfolded naturally?

Yes, I said. (What a perfect word: naturally.)

And then what?

Well, dad, I said, I guess I just fall in love with the person, you know?

Yes, he said, of course. I understand that. You know, I've wanted to ask you if you were dating her. But I just never did. I don't know why.

Well, I think you were respecting my privacy dad. You know, the only reason I didn't tell you before was, I didn't want you to worry. (Not entirely true. But partially true.)

I love you. You're my daughter and I'll always love you.

I love you too dad.

Today I came out to a retired minister who attends my church. I was nervous, talking to Beloved on the phone just before he and I met. We ordered. He prayed. We had our soup. Then my salad and his wrap came. In the middle of my salad I began my story.

He was wonderful. He was better than wonderful. He is willing to do everything he can to help. Everything. He said, I want you to know you have my complete support in every way.

Tonight I was driving between a meeting and dropping my daughter at a lesson, when a strange feeling came over me. I couldn't identify it at first. But gradually I came to recognize it: it was excitement. Excitement is beginning-- beginning, mind you-- to edge out the fear.

I am getting excited by the thought that everyone will know, at last, that I have a lover and she is a woman.

I am getting excited at the prospect of no longer having to hide.

I am getting excited that soon the thing I've been sort of dreading will soon be over. 'Dreading' isn't quite the word... but the fear has weighed down my anticipation of this whole event with something like dread.

I am getting excited. I'm no Pollyanna. I know that the outcome of all this is hidden in a kind of mist. But here are the facts:

I am pastoring a congregation that is bouncing back from several years of decline, and is experiencing life and growth.

I preach the gospel to them. I am trying every day to share with them the good news of God's saving and liberating love for us.

I am engaging in genuine relationships with the members of the congregation.

I am acting as head of a large-ish staff, and doing it well.

I am engaging the congregation in conversations about how to respond to the needs of our community.

I am a leader in our community in other capacities.

I have been gifted and called by God to this ministry, and I still feel the weight of that call. I still want to be their pastor.

I am getting excited.

27 comments:

FranIAm said...

I read this and cry. I remember when I first read your blog and you were in a very different place with all of this.

This is all so beautiful. It won't all be easy, but was living hidden ever easy?

Much love and many prayers to you.

suzanne said...

I'll be praying for you.

Cynthia said...

I am just so proud of you. Though I've pretty much quit commenting on blogs, I've kept on reading. I'm not surprised by the positive reactions you've received so far, and you're in my prayers that the rest follow suit.

John Shuck said...

I am excited for you just reading your post! Continued prayers... : )

Diane said...

i'm still praying for you. You are so gifted....

Sara said...

You're amazing! As always, you are in my prayers as you continue your journey.

IT said...

Being open and honest is a gift, and a huge weight off the shoulders.

Of course, it's best to be aware that not all will appreciate this openness. Ie, don't get your hopes up, but be prepared to be thankful for the continued acts of grace of those around you as you take the journey.

each supportive comment is like a little jewel to place in your bag as you walk this path that others have walked before and others will walk after. And each set of feet make the path easier to follow.

PamBG said...

I'm praying for you too.

Songbird said...

Preach it, to yourself and to us!!! This is wonderful!!! And I continue to pray for you.

jsd said...

To continued excitement!

Choralgirl said...

:-) Hug for you. Prayers, too!

Mary Sue said...

And the people said AMEN!

LittleMary said...

what a little gift of grace!

Just me said...

I have been surprised by the positivity of everyone I have come out to recently - even those that don't want it for me have been supportive of me. At church it has been challenging for them but it has led them to put their money where their mouths are. To really accept people for who they are and commit them and their own spiritual journey to God. It is easy to be like Peter before Jesus' arrest and say you will never do something - but it is harder to actually act in love to people who live differently to what we presume is right. My congregation have not all acted initially favourably, but most have tried to see the situation through love. I pray you too will be favourably surprised with the reactions of those who you tell in your church. That the glass will be half full.

God_Guurrlll said...

I am excited for you. Praying for the Holy Spirit to shower you with joy in sharing this good news with your people.

Barbara B. said...

Wonderful! Adding my prayers...

KJ said...

Nothing quite like getting ready to say those words with no way to take them back; It must be kind of what sky diving is like.

Peace and blessing.

Sarah S-D said...

oh dear friend, thanks be to God. may excitement triumph over dread and may grace continue to abound.

Suzer said...

Oh Cecilia - I hear your excitement and am so glad you are feeling so positive. And perhaps I'm the only one to express my fear for you here. I know you are aware of all the possible negatives and have discussed and are dealing with them. As I only know you in the blogosphere, I fear for even the small things -- things that touch you, as well as me. I fear that this space will no longer be safe for you, or for those who have come here experiencing a similar situation as you are. I fear that you will be overwhelmed with hateful comments (I know you have dealt with them in the past, and probably still do). I'm quite sure that, even if you take this blog down, your words here have already been copied to be used against you online and in real life. I know how the haters work, I've seen them tear apart other people. I'm so glad that you seem to be living in a place of positivity, and that you've already experienced such acceptance. But I also fear the worst. It's my nature, I'm afraid.

I wish you and your Beloved nothing but peace and love and acceptance. May God's Grace and Mercy hold you fast, and may God enlighten and transform with Love those who, due to their misunderstanding of His Love, will follow their fear and condemn you.

Feel free not to publish this one, if you prefer. Sending you love and all best wishes through the intertubes.

Lulu Maude said...

Got a lump in my throat reading this.

You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Mary Beth said...

Prayers, every day.

Jane R said...

Dear Cecilia,

Like Fran I remember this blog a year or two ago.

Like Suzer I hope that all will be well and that both you and those who read this blog for help on their journey will feel safe. And I am reminded of the saying in the Gospel, "Be ye wise as serpents and gentle (or: innocent) as doves."

Like all of us here I rejoice with and for you! Alleluia. May the truth bless you as you bless us all.

Erika Baker said...

This reminds me so of how it was when I told people about my new love. I was overwhelmed by the amount of understanding, acceptance and friendship, which made the inevitable shit much easier to bear.
Excitement, a little fear, but a sense of the inevitble break for freedom.
And now we're just another family with 2 teenagers in the house - the normality of it is still deepest peace.

Go girl, go!

Grandmère Mimi said...

Cecilia, I feel your excitement with you. I shall continue to pray for you and your Beloved that all shall be well.

Processing Counselor said...

I feel excited with you!

Rock in the Grass (Pete Grassow) said...

much love to you brave girl

Anonymous said...

I have praying that this day would come for you and rejoice that it is here.

All Will be Well.

My love goes to you and your partner and to those who support you in your ministry.

Sharon