I just got back from vacation.  It was nearly a week away in the sunshine spent with my wife, my kids, and my in-laws.  I was curious how it was going to go with everything we have been going through.  Plus with the added impact of having my in-laws with us, I was really hesitant about having any high hopes for this trip.  While it wasn’t the best vacation we’ve had by any means, it wasn’t horrible either.  I guess it ended up being exactly what one would expect given the circumstances.

I felt like an outsider a lot of the time on this trip.  My wife and I didn’t communicate any more than was necessary.  And it seemed like she was always together with the kids and I was frequently “left behind”…separate from them and separate from my in-laws.  It was like I was an outsider in my own family on my own vacation.  I tried to make the best of it…was very patient with the situation…and tried to keep a good attitude.  But inside, I was feeling hurt.  I even made a bet with myself at the beginning of trip…I said, “I bet I will never be asked to be in any pictures that are taken on this trip.”  It ended up being true.  This is the first vacation I’ve ever been on when I wasn’t in any photos.  I could have asked to get some pics with me and the kids…but that felt awkward since my oldest son hates me right now.  So I just let go and let it be what it was.

My in-laws were extremely loving and gracious towards me during the trip.  My father-in-law even tried several times to ask me questions about the new church I am starting.  We ended up getting some time alone on our last evening and I shared a ton of things with him.  While he doesn’t agree with my choices right now theologically, he took a great interest in learning about my life, about the gay Christian community, and about our new church.  I think I ended up teaching him a lot!  One of the cool things is that he commented on what he saw going on in our family during the trip.  He said, “I can tell things are very difficult for you right now with the way you are being treated.  I don’t know how you do it…how you can deal with it.”  That one statement meant the world to me.  He saw what I am going through and he empathized with me.  That really meant the world to me.

I guess the best part about being “on my own” a lot of the time during this trip was that I got some good reading done and I had the time to think about and reflect on a lot of things.  I ended up coming up with some great ideas for a potential para-church ministry that I think I would like to start.  Yeah, I know.  I’m crazy.  Start a new church AND start a para-church ministry?  Well, I think it may just be part of the calling that God has on my life.

So I relaxed.  I got tan.  And got away from work.  That was good.  I just wish I could have been more of an integral part of the family time away.  But I guess it could have been worse.  The split-up of our family is on the horizon.  It probably was as good of a vacation as a family could have in the midst of dealing with the impending family breakup.

  1. Buddy Bear says:

    The fact that your in-laws attended the vacation with you and your family is very positive. They will naturally want the best possible outcome for their grandchildren and (I hope) they have realized that includes treating you decently. Your story about the photos was my exact experience last year! Don’t shut yourself out entirely, however, a photo of you with perhaps your other child would have been very special.

    Your wife’s emotions are very raw right now and might be that way for years. Understand that and accept these things can’t be rushed.. Those closest to you know that you are a decent human being, full of compassion and integrity whether or not you have come out as gay. In the end, those qualities will win you wide support and respect, but it may take years.

    My mother-in-law has been highly supportive of me since I came out as gay, almost more supportive of me than of her daughter (my wife.) This has meant so much too me!! Also, some of my wife’s closest friends are also highly supportive of me as well. This support of me has been based on my character and integrity, on my determination to “do the right thing”, and the fact that I haven’t behaved in a “sleazy” manner since coming out.

  2. toujoursdan says:

    Bittersweet indeed, but it’s wonderful that you have some support.

  3. Jack Scott says:

    I discovered your blog a few weeks ago through links from another blog. My heart goes out to you. I am a married bisexual Christian male. My wife knows and fortunately has dealt with it much better than has been your experience.

    Having grown up in an evangelical church (my father was a deacon), I have a lot of understanding for your situation and a lot of empathy. I also would have some advice, but you’ve not asked for any.

    My best friend Mike (who was a married homosexual male) got to the point where he was just waiting for a family wedding to be over with and then he was going to commit suicide. Fortunately, he told me about it. God and I spent the next 3 years getting him to stay his appointment and give us time to work with him. It was the most spiritual time of my life. During those 3 years God was my constant companion. Telling me what to say and what to do to reach Mike. Even though I’d been raised in the church, I would not have believed it had anyone told me they were experiencing God in the way I was experiencing him.

    I would like to chat with you one on one; but there seems to be no way to reach you other than by this comment box. I blog at http://jackscottsbisexualbuddies.blogspot.com

    My email address is JackScott1947@gmail.com

    I hope you’ll consider contacting me to chat.

    Jack Scott

  4. Paul says:

    I’m glad you felt the support of your father-in-law on the vacation. And so sorry your son still hates you (that’s my experience too)

    Our family vacation 2 years ago was seminal in deciding to come out to my wife, going through counseling and then separating – all within 4-5 months of coming back from the vacation.

  5. Will says:

    I have never had to endure the pain that you are experiencing, but there is one thing that I do know. God loves you and your family. He has been the foundation in your life. As a minister, you lead and guide a mass of people so it is important that you continue to seek Him in all that you say and do. Although some may not realize it, without God, we would all fail. Stay strong in your faith and continue to wear the whole armor of God. Remember, it is His will which will be done, not man.

  6. It is tough when the awkwardness is out in the open, but becomes the elephant in the living room. Everyone can see it now, but no one speaks to it.

    It will get more intense, then better. Prayers ascend.

  7. bill says:

    your blog reads as if I wrote it myself!!!
    I would love to chat further … feel free to drop me a line

  8. Mike says:

    I just stumbled across your blog this morning and read through the archives. What intrigues me is you are married, have kids, are a pastor who is supposed to be living the “Christian” life, but are gay. I know it is not easy as witnessed by your struggle and pain that you describe. I can’t even imagine. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and checking back.

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