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Monthly Archives: July 2012

A Letter to Louise

A Letter to Louise: A Biblical Affirmation of Homosexuality

Dear Reader,
Shortly after I had gone from the seminary to my first pastorate in 1948, Louise invited my wife, Anna Marie, and me to have Sunday dinner with her family.  She has been one of our dearest friends ever since. Recently, during one of the many visits we have had since then she said to me “My brother hates God because God made him gay, and he knows he is going to hell, and I do, too, for that is what the Bible says.”  At that time I had only some suppositions – quite negative – about homosexuality and had never thought it needed study.  But her words made me want to know as much as I could learn.
When I began reading I soon realized things about myself I now deplore: I was ignorant of the many facts about homosexuality and what the Bible says about it.  Yet, without facts, I had pre-judged it; I was prejudiced.  With little thought I had read into the Bible what I presumed it ought to say instead of reading out of it what it did say.  My idea of not needing to study the subject was pure anti-intellectualism.  I am now grateful to God that He led me to study.
I read some two score books, most by eminent sociologists, psychologists and theologians.  Then I wrote this letter to Louise, reflecting what I have come to believe is the truth about homosexuality, what the Bible says and what God wants us to think and do about it.
Now I want others to study seriously this matter of such importance to many lives and many churches and denominations.  I asked for and received Louise’s permission to share her letter with others.  I pray it may be helpful.
Bruce W. Lowe, January 2002

The ENTIRE document may be read and printed from  the link below…

http://www.godmademegay.com/

I take no credit for this writing.  This is the writing of Bruce W. Lowe, Who is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas (1936) and of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas (1946). He married Anna Marie in 1944; they have two sons and two grandsons. His ministry included the chaplaincy during World War II, pastorates in Louisiana, and teaching Bible at Louisiana College, Pineville. He left the ministry in 1966 and worked until retirement in the Office for Civil Rights of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Anna Marie is a graduate of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia (1946) and attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She has been the church organist or pianist in churches and missions since she was eleven.
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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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ELEPHANT in the pew?!

I promised in a recent post that I would begin to blog about my journey from childhood until now.  I will keep that promise.  Today I want to answer another pressing question that I have recently asked myself since January when I first openly shared with my former wife that I was in fact gay.  The question I ask myself today and others have asked me as well is:  “Why do you continue to attend church even though you are gay?”

My initial answer is: “Because I haven’t been asked not to yet.”  Now that’s funny stuff right there.  I just made myself giggle a little.  So let me answer this in a bit more detail.  If my CAJUN accent comes into play, please just deal with it.  You can take the kid out of the bayou but you will not take the bayou out of the kid.

I attend church weekly for the same reason that you attend the grocery store as often as you do.  HUH?  Really!  What did you say?  Ok… I’ll say it again in CAJUN. Because I gitt Houngry!  Yah sees?

That’s right!  I get hungry.  I am hungry for God.  I am hungry for The Holy Spirit.  I am hungry for Jesus, and I am hungry to Worship.  My sexual orientation has no bearing on who God is.  He is not shocked and He is not shamed.  Trust me.  I’ve been in ministry before and you know I’m not the only imperfect person in that building fa sho!

Just as you go to a restaurant or a grocery store to feed your body, I go to church to feed my spiritual body.  It’s not about those around me, It’s not even about me.  It’s about Him.  It’s about Christ and his love for me.  You see… I am reminded about a dear friend of mine who is a beautiful Christian lady who said this to me: “For every person who, in their small mindedness rejects your and tries to shame you, there are a hundred more wonderful people out there who will hear your story and not only respect you, but he helped beyond measure.  …just like we wound others in the places where we remain wounded, we also heal other in the places where we have been healed.”  I couldn’t have said it any better, so I didn’t.  Thank you “P.C.” that was a defining moment for me.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, “If you want to know where people have been wounded, watch where they wound others.”  Now that’s good reading.

So big deal Chet… how does that answer the question that you posed?  Oh, I’m so glad you asked.  Here ya go.  I believe that the modern Church has gotten a bad rap.  Yep… I said it.  A real bad rap.  While I agree that there are some churches that are still pretending to be perfect, they are far from it.  They are fakers and secret-sinners at best.  I’m not talking about “Jesus TV.”  I’m not talking about cults.  I’m talking about the modern church of which I am a part of.

I assure you that 90% of my friends on Facebook are professed Christians in some form or fashion.  When I went public with my “gayness” I sent a heartfelt letter to some of my friends.  The response was amazingly positive.  less than 5% rebuked me and chose to “leave the building.”  The rest who are Christ Followers stood with me.  They didn’t all agree or condone me, they just loved.  They did what Jesus would do…they loved and did not pass judgement in any form or fashion.  You see folks…That is the TRUE church. The 90 plus % that attend church regularly.  Not the fakers and secret sinners who pretend to be the church, but the real deals.  I want to share an analogy since I haven’t done so in a while.  This one is good.

Back in the day when check-writing was an acceptable form of payment at retailers across the U.S. (giggle)  …back in the day…   lol…   There was a certain large retailer that decided that they were taking too many losses with bad check writers.  They stopped accepting checks altogether at many of their stores.  For whatever reason, the retailer decided to put pen to paper to determine what percentage of their guests were legitimately writing bad checks.  The result was astounding…  less than 1%.  That’s right.  They were essentially punishing over 99% of their guests for a poor performance of less than 1%.  Needless to say, they began accepting checks again but required a photo I.D., credit card or debit card.  …and now we have debit and credit card fraud…what to do, what to do?

I’m not even sure that story is entirely true, but the analogy serves my point of punishing the majority for misbehavior of a very minute, small-minded, fundamentalist, self-glorifying, fake, secret-sinners and punks who attempt to ruin in for the good ones. Associate yourself with the TRUE, sincere, flawed, imperfect Christians.  Remember a rule of thumb with people in general.  If they do it with you…  they will do it to you.  Be wary of those that always have the “dirt” on others.  It won’t be long before they dig in your dirt and they will have no shame in sharing it.  “for the good of everyone involved” I’m sure.  Well… What if I punch you in the mouth in Jesus name?  Does that make it right?  See… I just giggled again.

I’m sure there are people who disagree with me being a gay Christian, but that is my issue.  What is your issue?  What is your monster-under-the-bed that your imagination has created?  Another great friend of mine who has gone through a similar event as me shared this:  “Instead of living a life strapped with ‘chains’ …you have the power to be you.  If others embrace it…let them come over the boundary wall.  If others don’t…then leave them outside the gate to educate themselves about perceived monsters…and by all means, don’t allow their words/myths to shape who you think you are or strap chains back on you.  …be very careful who you allow to speak into your life.”  Thanks “S.P.”  You are a man of great truth.

A new friend of mine recently contacted me when he read my blog and it resonated with him.  This is what he wrote:  “I certainly didn’t ask for it [being gay], at least I don’t remember thinking I could really go for a healthy dose of depression, self loathing and disappointment for myself and loved ones…  …I pushed away my family, my friends, my happiness, my life.  …I could suppress what I was feeling and pretend like it was not real and try to build a [fake] life around that, or I could call a duck a duck and play the cards I was dealt.  Wow “J.C.” that hit me right between the eyes.  In a good way of course.

You see, you have no idea what people face day-to-day.  You think you know, but you have no clue.  You see…  during my counseling I was told that I would not only have to give up my faith, but I would be forced to give up my wife and kids too.  I was told that the divorce would be ugly and that she would get everything including our friends.  I was told that I would not be accepted into the ‘church’ and that God himself would reject me.  I was told that it was impossible to call myself a Christian and be gay.  I rejected all of those “chains”  and legalism.  I have no better friend than my former wife, and my kids still think that their daddy hung the moon. …tell them differently and I will Kut U!  Das Right… I – WILL – KUT – U!  I broke stereotypes, I chose to believe differently, I will not allow the nay-Sayers to speak into my life about how I am damaging my children and causing them harm.  Here is another good word from my friend and a mother of two now college-age children, “P.C” who dealt with this exact situation years ago with a former spouse.  Notice I didn’t use the word “EX” spouse, because they too are best of friends who have children. Very aware and well-rounded children I must add who are both college students now.  Here is the word:  “…don’t believe for a minute that you are hurting your children.  Your honesty and authenticity — and commitment to continuing loving as you figure this out — can do nothing but make them stronger, more loving and self-aware adults.  The most damaged people I’ve ever met are those decimated [people] who have been drawn and quartered by religious fundamentalism.  By liberating yourselves for an authentic life, you are also liberating your children.”  WOW.  In the words of my friend at King Burger…  Owwwh…Is dhat what you had said?  Thanks Bon Qui Qui.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZkdcYlOn5M

Ok… so I said all that to say this.  Stop focusing on the pitiful 1% to 2% of people who can make anything look bad.  They are the ones who go to Disneyland and complain about everything.  We all know that it’s the unsatisfied people who scream the loudest.  Stop listening to them.  Make a conscious choice to “inspect the goods yourself” when you hear negative things about someone or something.  I would have missed out of a lot of love and snuggling with a little sweet dog that is the only dog on the planet that loves me in this house full of girls if I would have listened to what everyone else said about Chihuahuas.  He is the kindest most loving dog I have ever had.  Hee Hee.

Love people for who they are and not what they can do for you. Respect people, you don’t have to be in love with one to respect them.  Treat others like you wish to be treated.  Now get yourself together and make it to your house or place of worship and stop thinking it’s about you.

Here are a few links that I have read over the past few weeks.  It’s like eating fish…  Eat the meat and spit out the bones.  Use what you can and set the rest aside for later… or just throw it out.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/exodus-international-rejects-reparative-therapy-for-gays-77413/

http://www.danoah.com/2011/11/im-christian-unless-youre-gay.html

http://www.danoah.com/2012/04/a-teens-brave-response-to-im-christian-unless-youre-gay.html

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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Link

http://www.christianpost.com/news/exodus-international-rejects-reparative-therapy-for-gays-77413/

I promised in a previous blog that I would begin to blog my journey from childhood till now and I will keep that promise but for now I want to answer another question that I have struggled with especially recently.  Why do I attend Church if I’m gay?  Hmmm.  Lemme see.  I want to be diplomatic here.  Maybe I don’t.  How ’bout I just tell it like I see it?  Yeah…  that sounds like a good idea.  Remember I promised to be honest from this point forward in a previous blog? Remember…Honesty is never rude.  OK… here goes.

I attend church for the same reason that you go to the grocery store.  I get hungry.  That’s right.  I’m hungry.  I’m hungry to find God (not religion, not denominations, not pastors, not people, not legalism).  I’m hungry to be filled with His spirit because His spirit brings peace, love, joy and conviction.  I’m hungry to be in a place where I can forget MY “issues” and remember that there are much more important things in life than focusing on who will or will not accept me. I’m hungry to somehow find peace and truth while I am here on planet earth.  I’m hungry to lift my hands and surrender my thoughts, cares and ills to someone who really cares and someone greater and more powerful than me.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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Un-Anniversary Celebration

 

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss

On July 18, 1998 in Springdale, Arkansas at Springdale First Assembly of God, we were joined by our family and friends to witness our marriage vows of undying love and commitment to each other till only death would part us.  Our wedding was gorgeous and the day was perfect…even though our limo never showed up. The guy fell asleep and forgot to come to the church.  Oh well.  We made an alternate plan to leave the Church while our Pastor preached his message. Sorry Reverend.  I sang a beautiful song to her and I meant every word.  She was stunning.  The ceremony and reception went off without a hitch.  We had so much fun.  Driving off to our honeymoon we talked about how much fun it was that we actually wanted to have more weddings. Not for someone else… for us…  LOL.  We did all the decor and planning ourselves.  Her mom took charge of the reception and people thought that we spent thousands on the reception.  Reality is we (we meaning her parents and her) spent less than $10,000 on the entire event.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  And I still smile.

Rev. & Mrs. Chet Lloyd DeRouen

Did I lie?  Some would say yes and I’d have to accept their opinion.  But we all know the phrase about opinions right?  They are like belly buttons… everyone has one.  Gotcha… you though I was going to use some other part of our anatomy located just south of the belly button on the reverse side of the body.  I’m literally laughing out loud.  I love it when I make myself laugh like this.

On that day I made a promise and I have kept that promise. …and I continue to keep that promise today.  Refer back to my first blog for clarification.  I truly believed that I had conquered my “gayness.”  I further believed that marrying was the ‘right thing” to do.  If I were having sex with a woman, then surely I would be straight.  She would fix me.  We had both saved ourselves for marriage and I gladly had nothing to compare it to.  So there would be no confusion right?  My gravity toward males would end and dissipate.  It must.  I had prayed, fasted, read my Bible and God had finally answered my prayer “to take away the gay.”  I believed that being gay was the LARGEST sin possible other than murder and blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  It was a disease like HIV, a sickness like cancer, a choice, like drugs, alcohol and stealing were a choice. So a Godly woman who was willing to marry me and make me straight was the answer.  Or was it?  I was scared, but being a christian man, I had very little choice.  Marry a woman or lose your career as a minister, character as a christian, and salvation as a born-again believer and follower of Christ.

I have loved, honored, cherished, respected and all those other things that the minister says really fast and our nerves are so anxious that we usually just make up something that sounds like something he asked you to repeat…then everyone gives a giggle or two.  In fact, I would argue… and trust me I love a good, healthy debate… that by admitting truth to her and releasing her from the union to pursue passion, I have done everything I have promised. I have put her needs above mine.  I have put her first.  That my friends is what marriage is all about.  Marriage is not 50/50, it is 100/100.  I realize now that I never was able to “put in” my 100.  I didn’t have it.  I never have.  She simply doesn’t have the right letter (M or F) next to her name on her birth certificate.  Your opinion may differ, so please refer back to paragraph two about my theory on opinions.  This is my issue not hers and I cannot be healed or changed and I cannot in good human, christian manner ask her to forego sexual love and passion while I know it is something that I will NEVER be able to provide to her.  I will not further debate this issue.  Enough said.

So yesterday was a bittersweet sort of day.  More bitter than sweet.  I started the day strong not thinking I would get so emotional and become a sobbing, sloppy mess.  She left with the girls early to go to their summer movie event at the theater and I found myself in the house alone.  I unintentionally began looking at pictures that hang on the wall of such great times of fun and celebration.  It hit me like a cement truck and I bust into sobbing fit number two.  Wow two sobbing fits before noon… am I menopausal or something? I haven’t cried this much in over 10 years combined.  Why am I gay I cried out to God.  Why? Why? Why?  Can’t I take a pill or something and make this gay go away so that I could go back to normal.  Why am I gay?  I want a wife, 2.5 kids, a dog, a cat,  (scratch the cat…I can’t stand ’em), a white picket fence, a red door and a swimming pool in the back yard.  I just want to be normal.  I want to forgo the shame, embarrassment, depression, anger and all the other crazy emotions that come with being born gay.  That’s right, I said it.  Born gay.

I can hear it now… there is ABSOLUTELY NO scientific PROOF that people are born gay.  Really interesting… because there is ABSOLUTELY NO scientific PROOF that you are not either.  I would debate that there is no scientific proof that GOD truly exists.  In fair form,  there is ABSOLUTELY NO scientific PROOF that He does not either.  Its a double-edged sword.  I personally believe that He does exist and He cares too.  I love Him because He first loved me.

Ok back to yesterday…We talked earlier how we would handle our 14th and final wedding anniversary.  I originally was opposed to any celebration.  I just wanted to ignore it.  You see…in the past that is how I have dealt with issues that made me uncomfortable.  Just ignore them and stash them in the closet.  I was closeted before being closeted was cool.  Ok maybe not.  Anyway, we decided that we would celebrate.  That we would acknowledge our love and undying commitment to our future as best friends and parents of our two daughters.  So we drove into Phoenix and had a great meal and a great desert even though we are both choosing to eat healthier.  I have NO REGRETS. That key lime pie with home-made nut-crust was amazing…I even had a second mojito.  Both of our favorite beverage.  We had great conversation too.  We just love each others company and always have.  We have been married for 14 years and have worked in the same exact occupation for almost 10 of those years.  She is now my boss and I think that she likes it wayyyyyyy too much.  LOL.

After dinner we shopped a bit and decided to head home for a movie since the kids were with my parents seeing a movie themselves and spending the night with them.  We came home, each checked Facebook and read some emails and both sat in the family room to watch our movie.  I asked her to sit next to me so that I could give her a hug and thank her for such enduring love, forgiveness, commitment and just plain ol’ friendship.  Within moments of our embrace…  you guessed it.  Sobbing fit number three just spontaneously happened.  This was much worse than the two earlier in the day.  I was having trouble breathing.  We held each other as I profusely professed my love and apologies to her.  She rubbed my back and instructed me to stop beating myself up and to please take a breath… LOL.  I guess she didn’t want a dead husband on her hands…  that would make for an awkward ending don’t ya think.  But she would end up with a very nice death benefit from my life insurance policy.  So after getting out a good cry and reassuring each other that we were making the right decision for our family we went back to email and Facebook until we both went to bed…  Very unpredictable and unexpected ending right?

To me, you are the hand that I reach for, When I’ve lost my way. To me, you are the first star of evening, the sun that warms my day. And just as sure as I’m sure there’s a heaven, God knows we were meant be, no road is too long as long as you belong, to me.  -Kenny Rogers

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”

― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

I can’t wait to tell you how we met.  I’ll save that for another blog.  But before I do that, I want to begin sharing my story from as early as I can remember.  This will likely take me to some places and emotions that I have not visited ever or in a very long time.

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment and feel free to click share so that other can read and be helped.  There are THOUSANDS of couples in the U.S. alone that are in the exact situation as we are.

-Chet

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2012 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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Asked and Answered

In my first post I stated that some family and friends “have left the building” and that upset some folks just as I figured it would.

Hey… traffic is slow during rush hour and we all know it but we can’t stop going to work.  We have to plod through it and keep our sanity and do what we are committed to do for our employers.  (My employer just happens to be my soon to be former wife.)  So there…you just got to experience one of my analogies first-hand.

I knew some would be upset, angry, mad, confused or even down right ticked off, but I will not stop blogging.  I have grown more in the past 24 hours than I have in the past several months.  I believe that some people have a less-than-stellar view of me because in the past I have failed to properly deal with my feelings, emotions and behaviors.  I have sat down when I should have been standing (and vice versa), I have been quiet when I should have been outspoken (and vice versa),  and I have been weak when I should have been strong (and vice versa) .  I have said things to others that I should have said directly to the offending person.  NO MORE.  I won’t be a pacifist any longer.  If  I am wrong, I will admit it and move forward, if I feel used, I will tell you.  If you ask me how I’m doing, I will tell you the truth.  If you ask me to like something and I don’t I will say so.  I WILL BE HONEST.  No frills, no side-stepping and I expect the exact same from you please.  That is not a ticket for either of us to be unkind, rude or condescending to each other.  There should never be con descent in speaking the truth.  And while I’m talking about this folks, please remember that all truth does NOT have to be spoken.  If you know something about someone and telling them would NOT bring healing or restoration, then please keep a lock on it.  If you must tell someone, please call a  random phone number in another country speak your gossip then hang up.  There you’ve got it off your chest.

So now… let me address those that have “left the building.”  Some have left the building because I am gay, but in full disclosure, others left the building before that time (and this was just the straw that broke the camel’s back) because of past events or how I presented myself in the past.  I have not always been who I am becoming today.  You see, concealing who you really are for nearly 43 years causes some severe character and behavioral flaws. Those flaws present themselves in various forms both physical, spiritual and behavioral. I’m not a Doctor or Social Worker.  I told you…  I’m barely street smart.  I always tease my former wife that while she graduated Cum Laud, I on the other had graduated “thank-da-Lawd.”  I don’t even know if I spelled that right.  I’m a low “C” student which makes me a little shy of average.  Hey… but I’m darn funny.  I am well aware that I struggle with self-worth, acceptance, fear, shame and many other things that make me want to withdraw and be alone.  I find it difficult to be in places where I am not in control and I will usually overcompensate for my weaknesses to take charge and this can make people uncomfortable from time to time.  I’m learning to be more sensitive in that area.  Wow did I just admit to being sensitive maybe?

I do not know what all my flaws are and how they have been manifested in the past, but those of you who have “left the building”  sure do. You have been quick to point them out to me or share them with others.  I’m not angry… just stating the obvious.  I likely gave you reason to be unhappy with me.  You have asked me to “own up to it.” and I get that.  But what exactly does “owning up to it” change?  How does owning up to it bring forgiveness and healing?  Do you want a winner and a looser, a right and a wrong?  Wouldn’t you just rather me work on my flaws and become a better person?  But please… don’t be bitchy with me because your flaws are different from mine.  You have contributed to my frustration and craziness and I have contributed to yours.  If you want a reset button to erase all of your past indiscretions, (and trust me… I love reset buttons) then you are REQUIRED to offer that same ‘reset’ to everyone around you.  If not, you speak in hypocrisy.  You know nothing about someone until you have walked in their shoes and lived in their home and worked at their work.  Treat others like you wish to be treated.  Lets practice mercy, grace and forgiveness.   And no… I will not subject myself or my three ladies to any event or gathering where those of you seek to point out our flaws and stand in judgement of the way that we choose to navigate our life.  It is my responsibility to protect and shield those three ladies and that is what I will do even if it means foregoing “tradition.”  Because when it’s all over here on this earth and I’m on my way to heaven, It will be those three ladies who knew exactly who I am and what I lived for.  I made them promise to cremate me and go on a cruise to dump my ashes.  Fish Food!

We have a duty as friends and family to protect and serve those we love.  You cannot serve  and protect someone who you do not believe in or that you believe you are better than.  If we say we live a cup-half-full life but treat others like they don’t even deserve a cup, then same on us all.

I will not participate in conversations where we go through each others trash container to see who has more trash or whose trash is trashier.  …But you said this and she said that and we heard and you heard that he said that she said that you said that I said… blah blah blah.  And to top it all off, I have messages, emails and text messages to prove that your flaws are much worse than mine.  REALLY?  REALLY?  We humans all seem to hear exactly what we want to hear until we get busted for saying something we shouldn’t have.  Why is it that we wish to “catch” someone doing something wrong instead of something right.  It’s called human nature or selfishness… take your pick, the result is the same… DIVISION.  Are you the type that complains fervently about poor service but fail to give praise when you have good service? C’mon be brutally honest with yourself.  Next time you are at a restaurant and you get good (not Perfect) service, ask for the waiter/server to come over with his/her manager and publicly in front of their boss praise them.  You will feel great and so will the server.  And don’t forget to leave an extra tip.

Finally I’d like to address this statement:  “But you have changed so drastically… It’s like you are a whole different person…  You are not who you used to be”…YES I HAVE!…   yes I am, and no I’m not,  and if we are alive, we should be looking for opportunities of growth and change too.   I have accepted that I am flawed but being gay is not one of them.  In fact this post have very little to do with Why I Am gay.  I still don’t know the answer to that question any more that you know the answer to the question of why you have the color eyes that you do.  You just do…  It’s how God made you.

So you asked and I answered and you probably don’t even remember your original question.  I do.  “Why don’t you just own it?”  I have and I will own “it” whatever “it” is, but I will not let “it” define my future.  Please don’t let the past rule your future.  Stop looking for someone to blame… someone to be right and someone to be wrong.  It’s so unbecoming.  I have a question…  Why don’t YOU own it?  Own what?…  I’m so glad you asked.  Own your future, own your today!  Commit to look past petty flaws. Love, support and protect those around you.  For some of us, the damage is done and it is irreparable, but yet do not let that define you as you move forward with new relationships and friendships commit to seek the good and let it cover the bad.  Do not give yourself an excuse to be judgmental and combative. You will be happier and you’ll have more friends.

I am thankful to the over 300 people who read my first post.  I am shocked and elated.  I had no idea I could write.  Please don’t cherry-pick my blog.  Don’t read it if you are just looking for fodder to make yourself feel better about your past or my past.  Today is a new day for me.  Today I choose to hit my reset button and in good measure, you get to as well.  No judgement, nothing held back.  Past is past and the future is now.  I’ll be clear, this does not give everyone a pass to be in your circle of trust,  it’s a commitment to practice kindness, mercy and forgiveness and not judgement going forward.  Some relationships are not recoverable but it doesn’t have to be combative any longer either.

I just had the loveliest conversation with my sweet mother.  We laughed, we loved, we shared and we cried.  But most of all we communicated. I sense a new relationship of love and support growing.  I’ll blog about that next time

Mercy, Grace and LOVE.

RESET!!!

Chet

 
18 Comments

Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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Please don’t answer that.

Please don’t answer the question “why am I gay?”  Its not your question to answer, its mine.  I have asked myself this question for as long as I can remember.  It is a question that I have been tormented with for decades and a question that may never, ever be answered on this side of heaven.  Yes, I believe in heaven.  I believe in God, His Son Jesus, The Holy Spirit, Faith and the Holy Bible too.  I’m certain I just ran more than half of you off right there.  See if you would have read about me (the blogger) in the beginning, you would know that I just say what I think alot.  You can expect that from me in future posts.

I will say things that I’m sure I may regret later.  But probably not.  I will say things that will upset you and me both.  I will say things that will shock me and you too, but I will say it nonetheless.  Some of the stuff I will say, I have NEVER said before.  I will process this question until I just can’t process anymore.  If I offend you, then stop reading, if I scare you, I’m sorry, if I help you in some way, thank me.  I will not however, accept crazy-talk, rudeness or profanity. I will shut that down.  This is my blog, and I dont like to joust about my life…if you want to joust, then attend your local renaissance festival.  I won’t tolerate stupid either.   I reserve the right to change MY rules at ANY time and I likely will.

Moving right along…

I have known my whole life that I was attracted to men.  I don’t remember NOT being attracted to them. I know a beautiful woman when I see one but I have no sexual attraction toward them no matter how much or little clothing they are wearing.  When my friends shared girlie magazines with me when I was young, very young, um… Like kindergarten or first grade, they were looking at the women and I only noticed the men.  No one taught Me, I didn’t choose to,  it was just a normal sexual attraction.  It didn’t even cross my mind that it was strange or different.  I eventually did, however become aware that this was NOT normal nor acceptable and therefore at a very young age I learned to lie, decieve, sneak and pretend to be something other than the real me.  I trusted no one and loved few.

This made me defensive, ashamed, scared, anxious, intolerant, hateful, foul-mouthed, mean, vindictive, angry, rude and judgmental towards others including my family and friends. I hated me, I hated who I was, who I was becoming and longed for the day I would die.  I planned to commit suicide multiple times as young as I can remember.  I knew my dad had a pistol and I knew there were bullets.  I would often get the gun and put it in my mouth and practice pulling the trigger.  I knew it would make a mess and I didn’t like messes so I looked for other ways.  I would ride my bicycle along the street and wish for a car to hit me.  I even faked a near-miss one summer as my family and I were camping at a campground with a large group of friends.  I went off the road with my bike on purpose.  I got some cuts and bruises and went back to the campsite to tell my story. I even tried to set the house on fire once but after lighting the kitchen curtains I chickened out and put the fire out with the kitchen faucet spray thing.  I lied about it and to this day I never told the truth…  Until now.  Mystery solved mom and dad.  I even attempted to jump out of a second story window, but quickly learned that I was afraid of heights. I would even devise plans to just go away or disappear to some other place but I could not think of another place to go.  So I would hide in the attic of our very old lovely home or climb the oak tree in the back yard as high as I could get. But then I would get hungry and that ruined my disappearing attempt.

I grew up next to the cemetary and would ride my bike there often and even had my plot picked out where I wanted to be buried.  I wanted so desperately to be dead. I was infatuated with death and dying.  While I was at the cemetery for hours, I would take apart floral arrangements carefully and then put them back together.  This is how I learned the skill of floral arranging.  That’s just funny right there.

The desire to be dead never ended until just recently when I came out as a gay man and decided that I wanted to live to help other men through this dreadful process of acceptance.  Acceptance of who we are and who we are created to be.  Please… Do me a favor, if you know someone who is gay or has gay tendencies, please be honest with yourself and honest with them.  Help them to get help.  PLEASE… Whatever you do, DO NOT encourge them to marry.  I will address this more later… Maybe. It’s my blog remember. 🙂

I am now 42 years old and approaching my 43rd birthday on August 11th. I do accept birthday gifts!  I am currently becoming “unmarried” to my amazing wife of 14 years.  As a matter of fact, it will be 14 years in just two days,  and as I write, my heart is in a million pieces.  I love that lady with all of me.  And that is why I must release her to be loved passionatley as she so richly deserves.  I will share later why we have both decided to not use the “D” word.  I miss wearing my wedding band and I miss not introducing her as my bride.  I miss being a normal family that used to get invited to normal family and friend events.  I have elementary-aged girls and they are both aware of their mommy and daddy’s very difficult decision to be unmarried.  They love that nothing has “changed” since we shared with them our decision. Except the fact that we have less friends and family to do normal things with.  We have grown stronger than we have ever been.  We love each others company and our home is our SAFE PLACE.

At this present time we intend to continue residing TOGETHER…  Yeas i said together… as a family of four in our 3800 square foot home in a wonderful, family-oriented, suburb just a little east of the 5th largest U.S. city in the Southwest known as Phoenix.  You are confused already….  I know, I know…  The whole living together thing?  I’m just as conflicted as you are.  Stay with me, I’ll have you thoroughly confused in no time.

So because this week represents the final year that I will will have a wife, my heart and emotions are in a million pieces and more.  I am sad, depressed, hurt, angry, anxious, scared, lonely, confused, conflicted, worried, ticked-off, pissed-off, tense and mad as hell.  See… I told you I would say some things that would offend you and me.

I am angry because I never asked to be gay, I never wanted to be gay and I sure as heck didn’t CHOOSE to be gay.  I didn’t any more choose to be gay than you chose to be straight, black, white, French, Spanish, right-handed, left-handed, blonde,  brunette or any of those other things.  And please, do us all a favor and save your scriptures and religious quips and quotes for someone who asks for it.  This is me processing my internal thoughts of something that has tormented me for decades.  Remember it’s my question to answer, not yours.  You are here because you chose to be and you can leave anytime you choose as well.  See…  I told you I could be snarky.  🙂

Im angry because my sweet girls will never have a “normal” family, but they WILL have a mom and dad who loves them to the moon and back.  I’m sure that at some point they will be told how weird their family is and that their father is a fag.  I will find that person and kick their ass too!

My heart is in a million pieces because I have asked God for years to take this away from me.  To set me free.  To release me to my wife and kids.  I am tormented because I cannot reconcile being gay with my faith.  I am sick to my stomach each week as I sit in church with my family to worship and feel like a hypocrite and a heathen who is far from his Savior.  Thanks to my amazing Pastor Dave who is meeting with me weekly to love me and to help me find some answers and process my confusion and conflict.  He has never once  attempted to “heal” me or make me feel less-than.  He is a model follower of Christ and I am endebted to him.  He is a true example of Jesus.

My heart is in a million pieces because my soon-to-be former wife (we have also made a choice to never use the word EX when referring to each other) is beautiful, kind, sincere, smart, intuitive, discerning, an amazing wife and mother of the year…  She is a complete knock-out.  No Man in his right mind would “choose” to live life without her at his side or in his bed.  Not by a long shot.  This is precisely why I, for purely selfish reasons, have remained closeted for so long.  And please… Don’t bother asking her or myself how come she didn’t know?  SHE DID. Rember the part about her being smart and intuitive.  She always has since the first time we met in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the airport.  I’m sure she had no idea the fierce battle that was raging inside of me and how it would all work out in the end.  I actually thought at that time that I had conquered the gay beast inside of me and as a believer in Christ, I wholeheartedly believed that I was doing the right thing by marrying.  She was gracious enough to believe that I was too.  She remaimed gracious and has loved me through this horrible nightmare known as “coming out.”. I had to do this to save our friendship and her sanity.  She even requested that I NOT leave our home.  Most women would have put me on the street and sued me for everything.  Reality is… In the divorce documents, I awarded her 100% of our assets. Nothing held back?  401k and all  It’s all for her and my girls as she deserves.   I am only being as kind to her as she has been to me.  I love you my lady.

So as I sit here on my couch (her couch actually) in the safety of her home in the suburbs of Phoenix, while my children and best friend sleep quietly after a long Sunday of playing in the pool and enjoying lunch with my parents who are also afraid and conflicted, I am shattered.  I have never hurt so much in my life.  Many of my friends and family have “left the building” for various reasons.  I now lean on those who may not understand but certainly care and provide a soft place to fall when I, my best friend and my children are in need.  I am learning a new “normal” and am sure that I will need to adjust that normal from time to time, but I will never stop asking the question, “why am I gay?”

I will seek to find the answer to why this Jesus-loving, God-Fearing, Holy Spirit-Filled, Bible College graduate, minister/reverend, father and former husband is and never has been attracted to women.

I will be blogging as often as I feel that I need to vent or process.

 
53 Comments

Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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