It is now Monday morning after the announcement. I slept well after getting the previous scribble down. Before that I was thrashing about unable to sleep. It’s about 8AM and all is quiet in our home.
I’m taking some time now to reflect on the reactions of people I have told so far. Dr’s Fisher, Flemming and Fr Greg all respected the bravery of the step. Until Thursday I had rejected the tag of bravery, but now I can only say that, if bravery is to stand before gut wrenching fear and do what must be done in cold blood, this was the bravest thing I have done yet.
Fr Greg has offered money and pastoral support, Fr Flemming has called us constantly and visited us where possible. Fr Fisher has upheld the integrity of the Church, even defending the Lutherans, while still going into bat for us when it counted. Nicholas and Mary Tonti-Filipini have been available and excellent friends when we so desperately needed friends.
My two best Lutheran friends (laymen) have been constant in their support and camaraderie no matter what their personal opinions.
My mother in law has been a rock. She has openly displayed frustration, hurt, sadness, angst and despair, but she has never wavered in her expression of unconditional love for us. She did suggest reading the entire Scriptures through three times before making any decision.
My father in law has taken it pretty hard. He has expressed his anger in a number of ways, calling me a number of unpleasant names, refusing to listen to my gentle attempts at explanation, and telling my wife she is “killing him” by going along with me. I can understand his hurt and his reaction but this doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, especially for my wife.
My sister in law, who lives with us, has been invaluable as the only woman my wife feels has understood and empathised with her. She has been a rock in many emotional ways for my wife, and for both of us by helping with the children and the upkeep of the house. She does not understand the reasons but has been close enough to see the hurt and angst and has been able to be a support. Thank God for her.
My darling wife deserves a whole book to acclaim her behaviour and bravery during this period. Our marriage has grown much stronger by constant reflection, sharing and shared tears. We have come to this point together. She has sought answers as much as she was able and attempted to relate to all the issues. In her efforts to think through the questions, I think she has surpassed the ability of many pastors I know without the benefit any of their training and experience. She is, by far, the most dedicated, practical, intelligent, Godly and beautiful person I know. I am immensely proud to call her my wife!
Next: Misunderstandings and Misinformation