22 Apr 2011

Beautiful Things

The song “Beautiful Things” by Gungor was played at the CPM conference; it’s also one in rotation at our church. It’s currently one of my favourite worship songs, because it reminds me that no matter how messed up my life is, God can still make something amazing from it. He created everything with words and us out of dust – He can certainly take the broken parts of my life and turn them in to beauty for His glory!

Whether or not you have recognized your brokenness or you’re still discovering ways in which you are broken, please know that all of the pieces of you are loved by God, cherished by Him, and that He wants to make you whole. Sexual brokenness, emotional brokenness, spiritual brokenness…. it’s all the same and it’s all covered under the blood of Jesus. He died to make us whole and to turn awful, broken messes in to beautiful things.

On this day which we remember His sacrifice for us, may it speak to you, wherever your broken parts are.

His and his,
~Cori.

17 Apr 2011

On Being an Armour-Bearer

I commented a few days ago to a group of strugglers and their spouses that those of us who are spouses are “armour bearers” and affirmed how deeply this journey with our spouses affects us.  Like most of us

Suit of Armourphoto © 2007 Myrrien | more info (via: Wylio)married to strugglers, my friend has noticed how callous society is towards those who have an unwanted sexual brokenness.  It’s not that any of us strive for or desire to be broken sexually, but some embrace it.  And the world understands that – it’s the fighting against the brokenness that they don’t understand.  And they reject it, often making fun of it and of those who struggle.

It’s painful to be in a place where you watch the one you love fight and swim upstream, only to be mocked and ridiculed by voices that are loud and uncomprehending.  My friend did what any tender-hearted person would do; she removed the source of the ridicule (the world calls it “a joke,” but believe me – it’s not funny).

As spouses, we are often thrust in to situations where we must defend and protect our spouses. Sometimes it’s against family members who simply don’t understand or have bias/hatred in their hearts.  Sometimes it’s against friends who cannot accept clearly defined boundary lines or revelatory explanations.  And sometimes it’s against our rapidly-declining culture.  In the case of the latter, it often feels pervasive.  We might see or hear something in the media that mocks our journey and struggle.  We might hear someone at church or work say something like, “Oh, that’s gay!” when they really mean, “Lame!”  The words and attitudes are everywhere and even when they’re expressed in jest, they can hurt.

I wrote a while back about being my husband’s “Eowyn.”  I think all spouses, whether or not we realize it or are ready to accept it, are armour-bearers to our strugglers.  Whether they struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction or some other form of sexual brokenness, we are called to walk this out with them, courtesy of our wedding vows. This is definitely part of the “for worse” section of “for better or for worse” in our vows, and I believe God honours our commitment to our spouses.

But what does it mean to be an armour-bearer?  To me, it means that I help carry my husband’s armour when he goes in to battle with the Enemy, but I also hold up the shield and provide him a place to rest and recuperate when the battle goes long and he is wounded or not strong enough to hold up the shield on his own.  It means that I have to be prayed-up, armoured-up, and strong – because there are no time-outs in spiritual warfare.  There’s no “second string” waiting in the wings to relieve us.  It’s me (or it’s you), relying on the Lord for strength, courage, and wisdom to know how to help our spouse fight this battle.

The pressure is great and the battles are real.  Our enemy is always roaming, seeking whom he may devour, and if your spouse is struggling against sexual brokenness, the enemy’s gunning for you, because a tale of healing and God’s victory in this is a death knell to him.  If God wins in this struggle, others will break free as well – so he’s fighting us, tooth & nail.  This isn’t meant to discourage you, but rather to encourage you, because The Father has given us an unending armoury, full of weapons for this sort of warfare. But we have to be strong and willing to wield the tools He gives us, as well.  So strengthen yourself through prayer and spending time in the Word, and pick up your shields and weapons and join me. Because I’m in this battle as much as you are – and the lives of our families depend on it.

I’m including this clip from “The Return of the King” – one of the best parts of this clip is the absolute terror in eyes of the enemy troops when Theoden’s army continues on in the face of opposition.  The Enemy will come against you, but be determined and plow forward – the Enemy will cower in terror because you are accompanied by the power of God.

Go forth and fear no darkness – our God is with us!

His and his,

~Cori.

12 Apr 2011

Follow-up to Femininity

portrait in mirror 3photo © 2008 Mike Melrose | more info (via: Wylio)
A while ago, I wrote about how I’ve become confident and comfortable in my femininity.  It’s taken me a while to realize why this change took place, but I had a flash of insight at the CPM conference.

I commented that once my husband started to leave his passivity behind him, I was able to take off my pants and get my leg out of his, as well.  I think it was Desmond Tutu who said that nature abhors a vacuum – and in our lives, that meant that I got to step up and take on some masculine responsibilities because my husband wasn’t able/willing to do it.

I recognized a long time ago how much I hated this – I hated being the pursuer in our sex life (although at that point, it was barely passable as a sex-life).  I hated making all the decisions about life, budget, family, housing, bills, etc.  I was tired and more than ready for my husband to step up to the plate and relieve me.  Not that he had to then make ALL of the decisions, but that if he shouldered his responsibility’s worth, I would have some breathing room.  He wasn’t able to do this for the longest time.

Even after reading Captivating by Stasi & John Eldredge and communicating my need for a break to my husband, he was unable to do it for me.  My feminine heart was aching from doing things for both of us and bearing all the pressure.  In all fairness, my husband’s masculine heart was hurting, too – but not from carrying the weight of our lives; from carrying the weight of his struggle and the abuse perpetrated on him as a child.  He wasn’t cognizant of the abuse at that point, but it was there, weighing him down with invisible chains.

Once the bondage was broken, I began to see a new man.  A man who was able (and willing!) to take the reigns and engage me as we talked about family plans, about child-rearing strategies, about budgetary concerns.  He even began to be more of a pursuer in our intimate life, rather than letting me pursue him!

Somewhere in his growth came my freedom.  My freedom to be uniquely feminine.  Not because I had to, not because a church told me to.  But because I wanted to.  It’s as though all the shackles fell off of me at the same time my pants did.  I didn’t walk around naked, but put on my prettiest skirt one morning just because I could.  I flounced down the stairs and felt so amazingly … free.  It was a warm spring day in my former location and the windows were open.  Because of my newfound sense of freedom, it was a memorable day for me, but there were many more like it to follow.

The next time I went to the store, there was a darling skirt on the clearance rack – one that went home with me.  After that, I wasn’t to be seen in pants until winter, when it was just too cold to wear skirts that were cute and not frumpy.  Despite my newfound freedom, it came with the inner responsibility to avoid frumpiness.  I already homeschooled; the last thing I needed was to add denim skirts and Keds to my wardrobe so I would fit in with the independent fundamentalist church in town.  So longjohns and Citiknits pants came out in the winter, and skirts showed up as soon as it was 55F and above.

Since that day, I’ve come to revel in my long hair, make-up, and skirts.  My shoes are still comfortable (Birkenstocks), but come in a variety of colours to coordinate.  Naturally. <grin>

I honestly don’t think this transformation to my inner girly-girl would have been possible without my husband being able to step-up to fully-embracing his masculine-self.  As he began to step out of his porn addiction and let God do an amazing work in his heart, he ended up freeing me to be… well, me.

I’m so very grateful.

His and his,
~Cori.

08 Apr 2011

Brokenness

Broken Heartphoto © 2006 David Goehring | more info (via: Wylio)
The tagline on the blog used to read “one wife’s journey through her husband’s sexual addiction to wholeness and healing.”   I changed that this morning to read “one wife’s journey through her husband’s sexual brokenness to wholeness and healing.”

Why the change?

I think “sexual brokenness” more aptly describes our journey – while he is still a sexual addict, as we talk and process, we realize that the addiction stems from a deeper brokenness.  He doesn’t have many presenting problems like an addict does at this point, but like the alcoholic who knows that he is just one bottle of Jägermeister away from another bender, he stays on guard at all times.  God has been incredibly faithful in that the closer my husband moves to Him, the less he feels the slavish pull of the pornography, of the inappropriate emails or chats, and of looking at images that are designed to tempt and elicit excitement.  My intuition flashes at times, but less than before.

The sexual brokenness is the root of all of his issues – the acting out, the communication issues, the fear and trepidation that comes from wondering if he’ll be rejected by someone who doesn’t understand the differences between temptation and following through on temptation….  It’s appealing at times to want to justify it all with the CSA he was subjected to as a young child.  And while that abuse is the source of his sexual brokenness, he recognizes his own responsibility in his journey as well.

And so I’ve changed the tagline – I am married to a sexually broken man. One whom Jesus is putting back together, one piece at a time, and one who loves me as much as any broken human can, because we are all broken in some way.  My journey to is to continue alongside him, allowing Jesus to heal my brokenness in the process.

His and his,
~Cori.

05 Apr 2011

Believing in Your Spouse

Wedding ringsphoto © 2010 Marlon Cureg | more info (via: Wylio)
Most of us who are married to people with SGA who fight against that unwanted inclination are deep believers. We believe in our spouses and we often believe in the power of God to make changes.

If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be here – we’d have listened to the message of the world a long time ago and bolted. I can only speak for myself, but I suspect that many other spouses of SGA strugglers are the same: I saw the beautiful side of my husband and fell in love. The side that is gentle, protects me, cherishes me, and has a heart that God adores. And he loves God as well – that part was a non-negotiable for me.

I saw my husband’s potential when we were courting and engaged, as well.  I didn’t know about his struggle back then, but if I had, I honestly don’t think it would’ve changed my mind about him.  I thought about that this weekend – I met many women who were aware of their fiancés’ SGA and chose to marry them anyhow.  It really got me thinking about our lives – I was incredibly insecure in my femininity back then and came from a family background that contributed to my insecurity.  But I loved who my then-fiancé was. I think I would have prayed about it and moved ahead anyhow – because I was attracted to him as a person and I knew that he loved me.  As it turned out, my husband wasn’t in a place to acknowledge his struggle back then – he was living a double-life and lying to himself as well as to me (albeit tacitly back then).

Over the past 16 years, though, I’ve come to a place where I believe in my husband’s potential more than ever.  He wants to be a strong man, a man after God’s own heart, a man who tenderly cares for his wife and family.  He strives for it, and yet, for the first 13 years, struggled with his demons that kept him from being all he wanted and desired to be.  Seeing it with hindsight’s clarity at this point, I can say a few things for other spouses who are seeking hope when hope seems to have vacated the premises:

  • Believe in the spouse you have – the one you fell in love with.  If you need help remembering why you fell in love in the first place, go back to photos of your courtship, any cards or letters you exchanged and kept, and peruse them.  Allow yourself to remember what drew you to him/her in the first place.  Whenever I do this, I get weepy – my husband knew me so well back then and our bond and intimacy has deepened since then.  It’s fun to remember how we only had eyes for each other and everyone else would get shut out of our vision when we talked to each other.
  • Pray.  Ask God to give you eyes to see your spouse with His eyes.  I know this sounds like an old Amy Grant song, but do it anyhow.  God will replace your vision of the hurts and pain with His vision of the person He created your spouse to be.  This renewed vision will make it easier to be compassionate, empathic, and loving in hard times.
  • Pray some more and ask God to show you your spouse’s potential.  God’s Spirit will put His dreams in your heart for your spouse and help you see His future for your family.  Communicate this positive potential to your spouse and pray together (more on that later, when I talk about developing intimacy after dealing with hard, secretive stuff).
  • Tell your spouse.  Write notes, give cards, or send texts/emails to your spouse to communicate how much you believe in him/her.  My husband has said (in retrospect) how much my belief in him and my faithfulness to him meant to him, even at his lowest points.  I stayed because God specifically told me to stay, but the communication of my love, faith in God and faith in him, and hope for the future was used by God in his heart.

Most of all, I want to express how important it is to not believe the lies the world will tell you.  You are not a chump, not a fool, and not lacking in healthy boundaries (well, you might have boundary issues, but it’s not from believing in your struggling spouse).  If you are a Christ-follower, you know somewhere deep down that God called you two together and made you soulmates.  Pull from that knowledge and belief and don’t believe that you “need to take another lover,” or “open your marriage” or “let him/her go to live The Lifestyle.”  If your spouse is struggling, it’s a sign that he/she wants to remain in a heterosexual marriage, working out God’s plan for his/her life.  That deserves encouragement and cheering.

Be your spouse’s biggest cheerleader.

His and his,
~Cori.

04 Apr 2011

Hope

We’re back from Midland and the Marriage & Mentors Conference … what a wild weekend!  It was such a relief to be in a place where it was ‘safe’ to be ourselves and know that we were all there to support each other and learn.  I had been thinking about and praying for some people who got stuck in my heart at last year’s conference and they were there, continuing to fight the good fight and looking marvelous.  :)

We met some new friends who possess more years of healing than we have and are incredibly wiseHopephoto © 2008 Christina | more info (via: Wylio)

words/counsel.  We met some amazing mentors as well – and gleaned from their years of experience and wisdom.

As we pondered our time away (and celebrated our 16th anniversary while we were away), I realized what bubbled up the most:  hope.  The movie “Hope Floats” from several years ago and the line about hope always floating to the top lines up with my experience and what’s in my heart.

As participants in the conference, we were part of 154 people who were ministered to by the people of Stonegate Fellowship out of love.  No obligation, just humble servant hearts.  The wounds that we all carry are being healed with small kindnesses.  I dropped Mike a note today and told him that SGF has figured out what it means to Do Justice, to Love Mercy, and to Walk Humbly.

As couples who deal with SGA, we rarely experience justice.  Most Christians don’t know what to do with us, so they sideline us, making it safe to only stay in the closet.  Most churches lump us in with people who are looking for LGBT “justice” or who are twisting the Gospel message to meet a political agenda.  SGF has figured out that standing for what is right and representing Jesus to hurting people is indeed justice – and they do it time and again when others attack them for their stance.

And as far as mercy?  Most of the compassion and mercy we experience comes from our closest, safest friends.  Not from strangers we’ve never met who offer to put on a conference for free, who will pick us up at the airport, shuttle us to the hotel and the church, pick up random things at the store when we need them (thank you, Terri!), and who will hug us freely.  They feed us amazing food, decorate the tables, and provide goodie bags and snacks – more than any of us would normally eat at any given time.  All in an effort to make us feel “normal” and loved.  That’s mercy at its finest.

The people who serve us at this conference say that they are more blessed than we are by what they do – that could be an all-day argument, honestly.  But to hear them say it, they’ve learned to deal with their junk because of the naked honesty with which we deal with ours.  And God has used our struggles to change hearts and minds and remove bigotry… all of which requires a humble walk with Jesus and a moldable heart.

So how does all of that bring me back to hope?

I looked around the “afterglow table” late Saturday night and in to Sunday morning and saw people who came in with their defenses up after years of struggle, hurt, and pain and within 48 hours, had left their pain by the side of the road.  They were smiling, holding hands, and looking relaxed.  There was hope there.  And I reflected that the hope was tangible – I could sense it for them, for us, and for our children.  Our futures are bright and hope is present in the person of Jesus.

That is not to say that our futures are easy or will be without a hard fight.  We’ve learned enough through the years to know that what God plants, the Enemy will try to come in and steal.  But the legacy we’re creating of health and honesty beats the history we’ve been given of hiding and deceit.  I’m telling you, the hope is so tangible, I feel as though I could reach out and touch it.

I’ve got much rolling around in my noggin after this weekend that needs to come out, so I’ll be back soon.  If you’re reading and were at the M&M conference, know that we’re praying for you.  Email me (myhearthisheart AT gmail DOT com) if you need something specific and we’ll be here for you.

His and his,
~Cori.

08 Mar 2011

Heading Back to Midland (plus Catching Up)

I haven’t done much writing on this blog for while – we’re moving forward in our new location, with a new congregation, and with a new group of friends and are muddling through fairly well.  We’re about to embark upon a new segment of our journey in a new form of therapy, but we have to figure out the logistics of it (childcare, time, distance, etc.).

Why the therapy if we’re doing well?  It’s become increasingly apparent that the abuse my husband suffered is farther-reaching than we first thought. He’s become a new person since unlocking the secrets his mind held from him, but there is more.  His memory gap goes up until about age 9, coincidentally, the age at which he ceased sucking his thumb.  The abuse started at about age 2.5-3 and continued on for many years – the only memories my husband has are those that were commonly spoken of in the family or ones he can associate with photos of an event.  Other than that, he’s got nothing.

So we have reached out to a therapist in our new locale who practices a type of therapy in the Emotional Freedom Technique-vein.  It sounds weird, but it’s regionally tapping on the body while talking about events in life and reprogramming one’s mind.  There’s something about tapping systematically that allows the mind to release what it’s hiding and the negative beliefs about oneself leave as well.  It is interesting, as this is a faith-based program, and my husband is excited about the potential.

He commented a week or so ago, “I can’t imagine WHAT I can do and WHO I can finally be once this is behind me!”  His desire to pursue this is huge and he so very much wants to see what he can achieve with his healed self.  So we’ll be pursuing that – and chances are, I’ll be decompressing here when we do.  This is a safe outlet for me and one where our journey can encourage others simultaneously.

We’re also headed back to Midland, TX for the Marriage & Mentors Conference by CrossPower Ministries.  We went last year and absolutely were blown away with all the church did for us, a couple affected by SGA. They didn’t know us from Adam & Eve and absolutely loved us like no one had before.  We learned much (it was like drinking from a fire hydrant for three days) and returned home as two very different people – willing to take down our masks and let ourselves be known for who we are and what we deal with.

God has cleared the way for this year’s trip as well – care for our son, a fare (on our favourite carrier) that we could afford, and even a deal on parking at the airport that gives us a 67% savings!  :)  Now that the airfare is purchased, I’m breathing a sigh of relief and can actually start to get a little excited for the trip.

So  we’re hanging in there and feel like we’re in a good place.  We continue to learn and find new things (daily) that force us to rely on God alone for strength and power, but we know He’s here with us, guiding us and getting us ready for our next step..

22 Aug 2010

Apologies

When we left our home state, we had filmed our “story” – at least, in part.  Our church used our video (about a 5 minute clip) as part of a series called FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions.  Some of the topics in the series included “How Can I Know the Bible is True?” and “How Do Faith & Science Mix?”  The last message in the 4-week series was “What Does God Really Think About Homosexuality?”  The series started after our departure and as the time ticked down towards our story being shown publicly, we got more and more nervous.

You see, we were never fully open with people in our church.  Sure, the leadership knew (we told them), and those in our Recovery Network knew.  People we knew wouldn’t reject us were trusted with our “real selves.”  Everyone else was a friend, a co-worshiper, or a co-worker in the church, but didn’t know our full story.  Many people thought of us as “one entity” – as in, “I can’t think of one of you without thinking of the other,” which is pretty cool.  But we still kept a side of our real lives veiled.  So understandably, we were nervous about “letting it all hang out” and telling “God and everyone” – although God already knew.  <wry smile>

The message was preached by a a friend of ours and a very dear staff member also helped to write the message, knowing our full story and having his own strong feelings about how the Church has wounded, hurt, isolated, and alienated those who deal with SGA.  And one of the first sentences in the message was, “I’m sorry.”  They went on to say that the apology was for all, but especially those who had been wounded by hateful words, hateful attitudes, and harshness in the name of Jesus aimed at those who struggled (openly or otherwise).  There were gay couples in the audience who showed up just for this message – to see how it would be “handled.”

I was so very proud of my church that day – I listened to the podcast as soon as it was available, and we had words of kindness, love, and compassion on our Facebook walls, in our inboxes, and on the phone.  Instead of being a scary day, it was a day of receiving love from people we had worshiped with for years.  God blessed us richly through our obedience and willingness to put it out there.

Fast forward to today.  We’ve found a church where we are comfortable, challenged, and feel called – a church that preaches the Gospel message with a side of justice, mercy, and humility.  We are meeting amazing people and being challenged every time we step in the door to “up our game.”  It’s a good place for us to be.  But even knowing that it’s good for us to be here, we haven’t gone in full-bore yet.  We don’t want to go in wearing a sandwich-board that says, “We struggle with SGA in our marriage,” and yet it’s an everpresent part of who we are.  My husband’s struggle is lessened over what it once was, but there is still more ground to cover.  There are still wounds that need exposure to daylight and healing, and there are things that have been said by others that have caused him (and quite frankly, me) to go underground.

Our pastor was teaching on Genesis 2 and Genesis 3 – standard ‘creation story/the fall of Adam & Eve/promise of a Saviour’- stuff.  He spoke briefly about the design of marriage and then stopped.  He said, “I’m sorry” to people in the congregation who were either fully-gay or struggling with SGA.  He apologized for the things that had been said/done/conveyed over the years in the name of Jesus that caused pain.  And then he affirmed his obligation and duty to not water down what the Scripture says about marriage (i.e., between a man and a woman), but to couch it with mercy and compassion for those who feel as though a heterosexual marriage is far beyond their reach.

We were in the front row (I’m easily distracted otherwise) and wept.  We were so touched and clasped hands together while we listened.  My husband leaned his head over to me and I whispered, “Just in case you needed a stronger sign that this is where we’re supposed to be…” and smiled at him through my tears.

We don’t need to wear a sandwich board declaring our struggles.  As we meet more people and find friends who are a good, close match for us, we’ll share our journey.  We might end up sharing it publicly again – I have no idea.  But I know that the leadership won’t reject us and that our wounds will be treated with care and compassion here, just as they were in our old church.

Apologies go a long way to healing a wounded heart, and we now know two strong men who love God and love people who have stood up and apologized for actions they never took, for words they never said, and for attitudes they never held – all in the name of love and mercy towards broken people.  What an amazing thing and how God is using that in our lives.

His and his,
~Cori.

16 Jul 2010

Forgiveness – full & true?

We are settling in to our new location and decorating our apartment.  It’s been a solid 15 yrs since I’ve lived in an apartment – there are definitely things I like (not having to do the maintenance ourselves) and things I’m not so crazy about (hearing the dog upstairs run around like a maniac at 10pm).  All in all, it’s God’s place for us for the time being down here and a good way to slip in to an area and get acclimated.

But a curious thing has happened as we get settled:  it’s been hard for me to put up a certain wall decoration because of the memories attached to it.  Or rather, the person attached to the item.  It’s a beautiful piece of woodwork that symbolizes our shared faith and experience with this person, but this person was at the base of my husband’s last “fall,” almost two years ago.  I forgave the other participant, but have been unsatisfied at the lack of face-to-face resolution in the matter.  Regardless, forgiveness isn’t based on having a face-to-face conversation or even having the other person apologize and accept responsibility.

So why is it so hard for me to hang this item up?  I truly do love it….

I was praying about this very issue today and God led me back to my own words in this blog.  I found my own words reflecting the heart of God back to me and being incredibly healing.  The person in question did indeed cause me and my family tremendous harm and pain.  But he isn’t defined by that moment – he is defined as a fellow sojourner on the path with me.  He is defined by his faith in Jesus and by the forgiveness that he and I both rely on.  He had a tremendously important part to play in my life and in my personal healing and was God’s instrument as I began the hard work of gardening in my soul.

That realization reminded me that indeed, he is forgiven.  By God, by my husband, and by me.  And I have been letting the Enemy run roughshod over my heart and mind lately by fretting about it – I’ve let Satan bring up things that are covered under the blood of Jesus and that are in the past, instead of remembering the good, healing times we had and how we were intertwined in a healthy way in each others’ lives for a while.

Our paths are separate and divergent, which is good.  I dreamt about this person last night and found myself sad about the way things worked out, but philosophical about the way some people are in our lives for a season and the length of that season isn’t often within our control.

So I’m going to hang this piece of art today – I have to decide where, but I want it up to remind me of the common heritage and the healing power of which he was a conduit.  I wish him the best and pray for him when he comes to my heart.  I was a different woman back then and God knew exactly what I needed, using another brother in the faith to provide it.  I’m grateful for that and what this piece represents.

Now if I could just find the hammer and nails as easily…

His and his,
~Cori.

18 Jun 2010

the ultimate removal of the masks

I have been insanely busy lately – my apologies for not writing for the past 6+ weeks.  We are preparing to move across country and needless to say, my time is more than well-spoken for right now.  This is the last day before the moving truck arrives and as I look around the house, I cannot imagine how we will accomplish all that is necessary.  And yet, I know it will be done.

He Who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it… Philippians 1:6

But that’s not the point of this post.

When we were at the CPM conference, we were told, “If you keep your mask up, your mask will receive the love, and you will not.”  Words to live by, but how many of us actually take the time and effort to remove the mask we wear?  Do we risk rejection and let others see our “real selves”?  Do we take the effort to avoid the fakeness and let people see when we have good days … and bad ones, too?

We are about to do just that in a big way.  Our last Sunday at our church is in two days.  I well up just thinking about it.  We love these people and have genuine community with them.  We will miss them like crazy.  We prayed for God’s best and believe He’s providing it in this move, but there is pain on the path to His highest and best and we’re in the midst of the grief that comes before it.  But today will be the ultimate removal of masks for us:  the Creative Arts Director at our church will be coming here to film us.

And we will tell our story to our church family via video.

The very thing we’ve kept hidden for so long for fear of being rejected will be shown on both campuses on July 18 as they kick off a “FAQ” series.  The series will look at “what does God really think about …?” and the staff is preparing messages that go along with the ellipses.  I was told that the NUMBER ONE issue that came up when the congregation was given the chance to ask the questions was homosexuality.  As in “What does God really think about homosexuality?”

And that’s where we come in.

We left the CPM conference knowing that our next step was to take off our masks before the church and to be real.  We approached the leadership (who knew our story and supported us all the way) and they smiled, nodded, and said, “Let’s see what God does with this.”  We suspected it might be via video, due to having two campuses and the unpredictability of live conversations like this, but as our time ticked down and we began packing, I started to think that maybe it wasn’t going to happen.  Not that we mis-heard God, but that maybe His plan wasn’t for us to share with this church, but our next church.

Not so.  And so after putting down weed mat in the front garden and covering it with mulch in preparation for listing the house, I’ll come in & shower and get ready to sit in front of a video camera.  I really dislike being on video, but this is something we must do in obedience.  And we know that people will find help and freedom because of our story and what God will do with it.  It’s a little awkward to know that we’ll not be here when it airs, but that’s all in God’s design as well.  He’ll use us and our story to set captives free, and that’s what is truly important.

His and his,
~Cori

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