A lot can change over the course of a year, for better or for worse. At least, that seems to be my case. I can’t speak for everyone. For myself, 2014 was involved and intensely difficult.
A little less than a year ago, at the end of my time as the MoSAIC rep for RMN’s board of directors, I stepped down from any and all of my RMN leadership responsibilities. A little over a year ago, I wrote this post anonymously.
I had other personal reasons for stepping back from my place within RMN’s ranks but coming out to myself was definitely a big portion of it. And while I wish I could say I’m writing today to let my church family—the RMN community—know I’m back and ready for action, the truth is I’m not. I’m not ready for action and I’m not writing for that reason.
I’m writing today because life is rarely so simple.
In the time since I last wrote, I started living as an out lesbian in my new city. I came out to family members and close friends in person and over Skype. Reactions I received covered a wide range from “surely that was obvious..?” to “wait what?” and were rarely so simple that they could just fit into two boxes of supportive vs. unsupportive. I quietly came out on Facebook in March. I even wrote a piece for my graduate school’s recognition of National Coming Out Week this Fall.
I’ve had my heart broken more than once this year, and I hate to admit that I’ve probably broken a heart or two as well.
Not romantically alone, which is something I don’t think certain folks really understand, that is folks who would declare any human being “incompatible with Christian teaching.”
My parents were heart-broken for a time NOT because of my sexual orientation, but because I still intend to pursue my calling to serve in a discriminatory institution known as the United Methodist Church.
In efforts to fearfully protect myself, I have hurt well-meaning friends. Events that have little to nothing to do with my sexual orientation have occurred in the past year, leaving me exhausted and yes, broken.
I am broken. And I am whole.
A dear friend of mine taught me that. My brokenness cannot be simply attributed to a single aspect of my identity, such as my chronic pain condition. Nor can my wholeness be attributed to being honest with others and myself by living as an “out” woman.
Life is rarely so simple, never so tidy a story.
Thus can I say I feel called to serve in a church that I sometimes consider abusive. Thus I hope for a lover and friend who accepts my flawed, radically Hell-yeah self as I am, including my love for God.
I’m still figuring all that out, but hey who isn’t?