As many of you have been following my journey of coming out as a Christian Gay Man, some of you have doubted my faith, my belief system and my real intentions. You have also read of me not being in relationship with some family and friends over my need to be authentic as a gay man.
As I have blogged and posted, I have been learning right along with you. You see… much of this blog is not intended for you. It is for me. I have just chosen to let you share it. I have learned so much about myself that I have run and hid from for most of my life.
As a new year approaches, January 1st marks the 1 year anniversary of the real Chet Lloyd DeRouen. The Chet that God created to be whole, healthy and happy. The Chet that God created to be a light. A light to who? Whoever needs light. Mostly to myself. I have no agenda when it comes to that. I am God’s and He is mine. The God in me honors the God in you. Namaste!
With that said, I have been clear that my relationship with my parents has been less than desirable. Not just because I am gay, but because I have not known how to love honestly, how to trust sincerely and how to live authentically. I have mentioned in previous posts how I have been shallow, weak, hurtful and untruthful about some things in my life. I have expected thing of others that I would never subscribe to myself. I have not honored the God in others.
This Christmas-eve will be an evening that I shall never forget. You see.. I had convinced myself that if I did not hear from my parents before Christmas, that the likelihood of me reconciling with them ever, would be slim-to-none. I needed somehow to move on from the pain that I was feeling. I committed to leaving a space in my heart for them no matter what happened, but I was going to move on as best that I could. Always realizing that there would be a hole but accepting that I could live with that.
So as I left Christmas Eve Service with my two children and my former wife. Yes… we chose to celebrate together as a family… We rec’d an unexpected phone call from my mother asking if it was OK to leave presents at the door for my children. We have not seen them in months. The answer from me was an immediate yes! I didn’t even have to think about it. I further stated that It would be nice if we were there to receive the gifts after we finished a Christmas Eve dinner at a restaurant. She said that they were at our door. I made a quick U-Turn and drove directly home. Dinner could wait, resolution and restoration could not. We are not promised tomorrow.
As Christmas day was approaching, I had almost given up that I would see or hear from my parents. God had a different plan. I was not afraid nor was I nervous. I have begun learning that If I want my life to play out differently, that I must behave and “show up” differently.
I showed up differently, I wasn’t the little boy who was scared, I wasn’t the teenager who couldn’t seem to find his place in society as a gay person. I was a man, and adult. I barely put the car in park and I jumped out of the car and embraced my mother first. She was so much smaller and shorter than I remember. Fragile in a sense. I saw her like I had never seen her before. She was not just my mother but a caring, supportive being that wanted to be in right relationship with her son. We said nothing to each other but an occasional “I love you” was whispered back and forth. We said nothing else, because nothing else needed to be said. We continued to embrace and each kissed each other on the cheek. I apologized for hurting her spirit.
I knew it was time to embrace my father. I have been afraid of men my whole life. I was deeply afraid because I didn’t measure up to their physical strength or masculinity. So I did. We embraced and I also saw him like I had never seen before. I felt like a giant. I felt huge and safe. I showed up as a man and not boy. We embraced and I kissed him on each cheek with a holy, humbling kiss of reconciliation. We cried together. I apologized to him as well for being so angry, hurtful and mean. He sincerely had no idea what he had done to harm is boy. I believe him. We said nothing else other than many “I love you’s.” Nothing else need to be said. No explanation of how we hurt each other. No attempt to blame one another… that would have only brought further damage and harm. Just hugs and kisses of restoration and reconciliation.
Over the past few months, I have humbled myself and have reconciled with so many people who I have intentionally and unintentionally harmed. It was a step that I needed to take to become a healthy, adult-being and not a whimpering, whining-child. Owning my faults it the first step. Correcting and changing my shortcomings is the second part. Recognizing a fault is simply that. It’s like saying I am the way I am… and oh well… just deal with it… Attending to that fault is what will bring change, reconciliation and healing. I no longer care who is right and who is wrong. There is no way to heal or restore when all we want to do is point the finger at who behaved MORE badly than the other. We don’t have to go through the trash can and identify who’s trash is whom’s. We simply must put the trash container at the curb and let it be REMOVED to the landfill with all the other trash. There is no healing in owning trash. We don’t have to peel the rug back and have each person identify whose dirt is whom’s. Just remove the rug, sweep out the all the dirt. Mine and Yours… we may even consider throwing out the rug altogether so that we cannot push dirt under there any longer. Keep everything on the table. Keep asking God to change us instead of the other person. There is no moving forward while tying yourself to your past.
I do not regret standing up for myself through my “coming out” process. I had a wife and children to protect. It was those steps that helped to bring me into an understanding of Mercy, Grace and Love for others.
I have become a fan of Iyanla Vanzant… actually, I have become a fan of owning who I want to become as a Man, A Father, A Son, A Friend, A Co-Worker and so on. So I read Rev. VanVant’s post today on Facebook and it resonated deep into my Soul.
What a wonderful season we have entered! A season of new birth, renewal and regeneration. A season of rest and reflection. A season of holiness and sacredness. This is the season to get clear about how we will enter the New Year and how we choose to experience the new life that is resting just beneath the surface, waiting to be born.
This is the moment, God, that the old becomes the new and the fulfillment of Your Perfecting Presence is realized.
I now ask and open myself to be delivered, freed from and forgiven for entertaining fear, anger, guilt, shame, resentment, bitterness, judgment and dishonesty, in all forms whether directed at myself or toward others.
I now ask and open myself to receive your love and Presence in all the places within me from which these dark energies have been removed.
I now ask that you lift the veil of littleness from my eyes so that your Spirit and Presence will become the Governor in the capital of my consciousness.
I rest in Thee knowing that because I ask placing my trust in you, it is already done and manifesting with clarity.
I can hardly wait to see, feel and experience the good as it unfolds in me, as me and through me.
I let it Be.
And So It Is Now All that I call Good and God.
Rev. Dr. Iyanla Vanzant