I thought I’d give a little update on life since I came out and subsequently got fired from my job:
Originally, I thought I’d feel embarrassed after coming out. I figured I’d “recoil” — wanting to hide from the world for a while. I assumed I’d have to push fairly hard for a while to get past my insecurity, wishing I could still cover that part of myself (particularly around other guy friends who I want to try extra hard to fit in with). I was bracing myself to face some difficult emotional work to move through.
When I made my original post though, I felt surprisingly self-assured about it. I went to bed that night filled with the most tangible joy — but expected I’d regret my decision later after the dopamine high faded.
Well, a month later now, I still haven’t felt any remorse about it. Even after my job was terminated, I’ve found that I feel notably more confident, happy and clear-headed than usual. I don’t think I realized how much continual decision-anxiety I used to have, always trying to choose how much I was going to freely express myself from one room that I walked into to the next. That burden is gone, and it makes more of a difference than I would have expected.
In the last few weeks I’ve had more time than usual for reading, and a lot of what I’ve been reading has been books about faith and sexuality. I thought I was plenty educated on this subject already, but I’ve felt an invitation from the Spirit to get even better informed and honed in my ability to talk about these things.
I was recently reading some material from ethicists David Gushee about why suicide is more common for LGBTQ folks in the Church, and I had to close my laptop for a moment. I remembered the many years I spent as a teenager and young adult trying to push suicidal thoughts out of my own head. I *usually* didn’t think of them as a serious threat to my life, but rather as something I had to manage living with. I didn’t realize how much my own internal self-repression was contributing to the ability of these deadly thoughts to continue haunting me.
With tears in my eyes, I thanked God for how far He’d taken me from that point. I thanked Him for protecting my life, even when I was sometimes working against Him by insisting on acting as my own enemy.
I opened my eyes and reached for the cup of tea I had sitting next to me. It was in my housemate’s mug, and I’d only seen the front side of it when I prepared my tea. The other side was facing me now, and I saw it read, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
In that moment I felt like the Father was catching my attention. I sensed Him turning the tables on me, communicating, “Look at how far YOU’VE come, Destin. Look at all you’ve worked through over the years… Getting inner healing, going through therapy, opening up to your friends over and over again, wrestling through your theology…. Repeatedly choosing life over death, vulnerability over shame, hard truths over comfort. You’ve come a long way. Well done, son.”
I know I still have plenty more internal work to do. More steps to take. Bigger giants to face. Plus, I need to find a job! Haha. Nevertheless, I’m privileged to say life has been kind to me lately, and I have an abiding sense of the Lord’s delight over me. I’m very much looking forward to what else this year has in store.