Wednesday, May 20, 2009


The past days have continued to be filled with the gifts of people I never imagined would be "ok" with my coming out being "ok." Not only "ok," but thoroughly loving.

We had large numbers in church on Sunday (for us), numbers approaching our holiday numbers. And no one, evidently, was there to throw tomatoes, because I emerged entirely tomato-free. My children were there (their blog-names on my other blog are Larry and Petra, so I'll start referring to them that way here). They were, in a way, loaded for bear-- as in, "Just let someone try to say something awful, Mom--- we will SO take care of this." I advised them that our job, in the face of the appalling, was to rise above it, and their job, in particular, was to say, gently, "I know my mom would like to talk to you about it."

Turns out none of us needed to do any of that.

Worship, which started out awkward in some respects, soon gained its footing. Our opening hymn:

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for them singing, praise for the morning,
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word.

I find myself this morning musing about how odd it is that suddenly what has been utterly private, even sacredly so, is now the content of very matter-of-fact discussion with, for instance, my church board. We had a wonderful consultant on policy matters join us last night for our meeting. I tried to take it all in as the conversation ranged everywhere from things like, What is our highest calling as church leaders?, to, What is a marriage?, to, What "practices" are we talking about, precisely? All was done with great delicacy, and yet, for the first time in all this, I had a "Where is my rock, that I may crawl under it?" kind of feeling.

But best talk about it. Because, it helps with clarity. And it shows that we are ready. I appreciated one member of the body saying, really, it is our job to do what we think is right. And if anything challenging happens, then we deal with it. Amen to that, I say.

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall on the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass.

This morning I'm struggling with profound tiredness. I don't seem to be able to get to sleep early enough, my brain won't shut down. Tonight after work Beloved and I are planning a long walk by the river. I hope that will help me to settle in.

And yet, even in the fatigue there is a peace... there is a freedom that's hard to describe. I'd thought the freedom would come at the end. My mistake. The freedom is the first thing to arrive. Thanks be to God!

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day.


David said...

dear Cecilia
about 'I find myself this morning musing about how odd it is that suddenly what has been utterly private, even sacredly so, is now the content of very matter-of-fact discussion with, for instance, my church board.'

this is all but a sign of the Holy Spirit very much alive and working amoung your folks. equally, it is a reflection and extension of the great care and prayerful faithfulness you exercised in coming to this place. by trusting God's great grace working in you, by listening to one of the largest truths of your life & submitting it all to the care and guidance of the Holy Spirit it has now become the public medium for endless posible growth, healing and grace in the lives around you.

Not to say it won't be free of some reactions of anger or fear. But this is the Holy Spirit's 'scene' now, and you and Beloved have all the skills and grace you need to see you through this. Praise God!

As to the tiredness and the inability to settle- they are prefectly normal considering the great conscientous care you have taken in the months and weeks prior to this. Think of it as existential muscles which have had to hold a practice pose, or contrarily which have been under an unaccustomed strain in a extraordinary concentration.

In an ideal world perhaps, you, Beloved and the kids might have been able to ride off into a sunset for a couple of weeks of R&R. But your faithfulness in remaining with your folks throughout all this speaks volumes about your com-passionate ministry.

Which of course only means that your personal self-care has to become the personal imperative, while your compassionate ministry continues to be your public one. All of which you already know, but which gives me a chance to suggest that your personal care become the great prayer iniative of us, your online friends at this time. The CCPC- the Cecilia's Care Prayer Conspiracy!
How about it folks?

love & prayers


jsd said...

I hope the walk enabled you to have a peaceful evening. Blessings :)

God_Guurrlll said...

I smiled from ear to ear when you came up on my google reader as the (un) closeted Pastor.

suzanne said...

Dear Cecilia,

I have followed your journey from close to it's beginning, and have watched as you have morphed into one of the most brave and thoughtful of people. It took a great deal of thought, prayer and conscience study to bring you to this place, and of course you're tired both physically and mentally.

I would equate where you are right now with following through a persons illness and death. We sit and hold hands, laugh a little, cry alot and spend energy, lots of energy. In the end there is a feeling of emptyness we can't explain. I think walks with Beloved will help, but I like David's idea off CCPC. We all on your blog need to continue to pray for your well being, and before you know it the empty feeling will go away. I'm sure of it.

Prayers and Blessings to you, Beloved, and the kids. (they sound like great kids, by the way.)

LittleMary said...

morning has broken! and i hope you get some sleep sometime soon my love.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

I can only echo David's words. I'm happy to join the CCPC!

sharecropper said...

continued prayers and blessings be with you and upon you and yours.

Choralgirl said...


@Cecilia--he's right, you know. :-)

Mary Sue said...

Psalm 116
16 O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving-maid.
You have loosed my bonds.

17 I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord.

18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,

19 in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord!

Erp said...

I suspect you are tired because you can allow yourself to be tired now. Your congregation (or at least the overwhelming majority) loves you and accepts you and you can return it while before there was awkwardness like holding a heavy shopping bag that you could not put down and no one else could see. I am glad things went well.

Sarah S-D said...

oh dear cecilia, i'm so tired too.

i give thanks for all the grace that has flowed for you this past week.

and i pray deep rest for you and for me.

Anonymous said...

Sleep well tonight knowing you are loved and free and many prayers were answered this week.

Kate said...

Wow, I fall off the face of the earth for half a month, and come back to this!

Hun, I am so SO happy for you and proud of you, and Beloved, and your kids, and your congregation; how wonderful it all sounds!

And yes, there's much more yet to go -- and I am praying for you through it all.

Jane R said...

Dear David said it well!

I have been thinking how tired you must be...

Much love to you, dear Cecilia, and prayers and support for self-care, and rejoicing that you have such people of faith and goodwill in your congregation and around you -- and such great kids.

I'm in on the CCPC. And with you in friendship.

MadPriest said...

Oh my, you've adopted one of my humourous (though somewhat obvious) quips as your new blog title. I really am chuffed. Thank you.

If you came up with it yourself without seeing it on my blog, please do not tell me. The general feeling of smugness I am feeling at the moment will get me through the day and we all need encouragement :)

Processing Counselor said...

I love the new title. I'm so glad for you.

Brian R said...

Am joining the CCPC too.

Cecilia said...

Madpriest: it was you, alright. My thanks!

All: thank you so much. The prayers are deeply appreciated.

Pax, C.

Ann said...

Rest well -- I think you will find you have so much more energy now that you do not have to spend it all remembering what not to say - how not to act -screening your every thought-- and can just be yourself.

sharon said...

Like many of the other commenters I have been following your blog for a while. Congratulations on your choice and I pray that you will continue to grow in God's love, love, love.

KJ said...

It is surreal, isn't it? Everybody knowing what you attempted to keep a secret for so long, but being at peace with that. God thing.

Now, when will Beloved be installed on that organ bench?

Sara said...

"The CCPC- the Cecilia's Care Prayer Conspiracy!"
Count me in.

This is wonderful. It will be interesting to see the ways that you will grow now that you are completely free to be you.

Now I pray for peace, quiet and a little rest for you and Beloved.

Lulu Maude said...

what testimony to your fine pastoral care is your congregation's embrace of you as you fully are.

lovely post, dear and tender time in your life. well done, faithful servant!

MadPriest said...

Hi Cecelia

An interesting but, no doubt, controversial thought has just entered my head.

Has your congregation received the news so well because they already know you as a wonderful pastor?
Would they have employed you at the start if you had been uncloseted then?

In other words, has the fact that you were not open with them actually helped all the people in your church come to the realisation that sexuality doesn't matter?

In other words, horrible as it has been for you, with hindsight, you may have chosen the right path.

This, of course, raises all sorts of questions about honesty and stuff.

Songbird said...

C, I thought I had left this comment days ago, but I will say it now. You are a blessing and you are blessed. Thank you for your courage. Also, your kids are great!

KQ said...

stepping out of lurking mode to say - I've followed this blog from the first, dark (literally) posts. I, too, was overjoyed to see the new (un)title. And ~ bowled over to learn that your other blog is also one of my favorites!
Thank you for sharing your journey, Cecelia. May the joy continue.

Anonymous said...

Sharecropper and I have been thinking about you and sending prayers. I agree with Mad Priest that coming to know you and love you before finding out may truly change the way folks see LGBT people. I hate that it's that way but "it is what it is". The goal of the LGBT Ministry at our church is to make our ministry unnecessary.

Lisa (Sharecropper's Partner)