Thursday, June 29, 2006

Change....Is it possible?

I've come to realize that one of the reasons I'm "accepted" within the gay community (or at least the ones who read here) is because I'm so honest/transparent about Tdub's struggle with unwanted attractions. Even though Tdub refers to himself as straight and identifies himself as straight, the fact that he struggles at all with same sex attractions makes him gay in the eyes of some folks. What do I think about that? I just honestly don't care what folks call him. You can call him a giant polka-dotted turtle. He's awesome, no matter how you say it.

Tdub's priority, his goal, his absolute first and foremost mission in life, is to become more Christ-like. We, both of us, actually stumbled onto this mission of being Christ-like after having attempted miserably to be completely in charge of our own destinies. When we married, I honestly believe we were each still doing that very thing; trying our darndest to make things work out and be "whole" by our own means. It got ugly, pretty quickly, in our marriage. We each brought baggage (what baggage!!) that just couldn't get "checked" and thrown into the plane, arriving safely at the other end of the journey. It's as if God stopped us at the metal detector and forced us to rummage around and start pulling out the *crap*.....piece by piece. It was either that, or just turn around and go back from whence we came.

In some ways we are still at the metal detector and always will be, thanks to God's infinite grace. He is so patient and kind to us as we journey along. And yet, we've journeyed well beyond that first layover.

So, maybe Tdub's suitcase has a metaphorical pink stripe on it. Just sayin'. What's most important to me, is that now, his luggage has a much larger "grace" (as in me, whatever that would be) colored stripe as well as an even wider Christ-colored stripe. While there are many stripes on Tdub's luggage, I assure you, the the "grace and the Christ-colored stripes are widest.

Now, lest you feel sorry for him, and feel that he is some trodden down, beaten, shell of a man who can't/hasn't expressed himself fully as a sexual human being, lo these many years of marriage, think again. He is not and will not be that man. He's one of the most vibrant, excited, sexually expressive men I know. (as if i know alot of sexually expressive men..but still :) Maybe (hint, hint) he will comment on this post and give his input to this aspect of what I'm trying to communicate. He is incredibly awesome, after all. (you catch more flies with honey, ya'll)

Has he changed? Heck, yes!! Have I changed? Thank the LORD, yes!! Is Tdub sexually attracted to men? Not so much, and yet, while that pink stripe has shrunk it may never be completely annihilated. And you know what? I'm not concerned about that. I love the pink stripe. I'm all about the pink stripe. The pink stripe is part of who he is. While I'm thankful it's not the huge marking it once was on the luggage, when it seemed to over-ride so many of the other stripes, I don't wish it entirely vanished either.

I probably won't be posting again until after we return from our Mexico mission trip. Please comment if you wish, and know that I'll get back to you after July8. :)


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Peterson Toscano said...

Grace your willingness to remain open about your husband's same sex attractions is shockingly refreshing. Perhaps that is a major factor in you marital success. Lord knows there is a whole lot more to a relatonship than just the sex. Honesty and openness does wonders.

I know men with same sex attractions who remain married to their wives. One man, who identifies as bisexual, lives with his wife although they no longer have a sexual relationship. They remain companions in every other sense of the word. He says he is content, but adds that he is not sure about how his wife feels because she prefers to not discuss the issue.

em said...

I like the metaphor... and I guess in pop society, baggage is a bad thing.

But, I agree with what you're getting at... Baggage is not only the crap from the past; it is also the stuff that we move forward with. You can't metaphorically "unpack" your bags, but you can learn how to travel well with what you have.

I really believe that, in God's grace, we begin to see and experience how all that stuff in the bags we considered junk is really quite useful for the journey. God, sometimes painfully, packs our baggage with exactly what we need.

Brady said...

Great thoughts, Grace. I'll comment more later when I have more time.

I also have been meaning to tell you thank you. I can't find your email here or in mine. Do you have one I could use? If not no biggie, I've got something else in mind too. You're awesome, really!

Shannon said...

I guess the harder one tries to suppress that pink stripe, the more overwhelming it gets. Being able to open up about it probably helped him to shift his focus to the other stripes leaving the pink one to become just one aspect of himself. I think that's part of what's wrong with ex-gay programs (not that I've ever been in one or am an expert) - they spend so much time focusing on that one aspect trying to make it disappear that it's all anyone in those programs can ever think about. There's no way that such an intense focus on one aspect of life can be healthy or helpful. That's just my guess about why they fail so often.

grace said...

Thanks for your thoughts. There are probably lots of reasons why some ex-gay programs don't work well for alot of folks. Your hypothesis is a viable possibility in my opinion. I think it also has much to do with one's "readiness" and God's timing in the whole deal....which is where we find grace so abundant. It also seems like there are many pre-conceived notions of what being "ex-gay" ought to look and feel like and most of the time, in ANY situation, it's our place to bend our thinking toward's God, not the other way around. It looks and feels different for different people depending on all sorts of things.

Hope all is well with you! I spent a little time reading your blog and I'll try and find the time to read more later.

tdub said...

Giant Polka-dotted Turtle here.

Whoa. What a post.

I want to give time to think this one through but I promise I will rummage through my baggage and come up with something.