With gay marriage comes gay divorce

I’ve been rather quiet this month but it is now time to break my silence. When you are committed to speaking truth, eventually you’ll stand on the cliff that beckons you to utter the unbearable truth about your own life. Today I am stepping with faith into the free-fall of sharing my truth. I’ll not be able to share here all that I want to say but I am compelled, called and committed to sharing my journey with you with the hope and faith that our stories intersect in some meaningful way.

I don’t exactly know where to start except to tell you I am at an end that is a beginning.

My father died on October 17 of this year and I have been in a tail-spin with hard reality rushing toward me at in a terrifying blur.

On Friday the 13th of this dreary December I spent the first night alone in my new one-bedroom apartment. Did y’all know that I’ve never lived alone?

But let me back up and try to unpack a little of how I got here.

I saw her. And knew.

I came to her scared and scarred. Bewildered with savage fear as I sought to claim my whole self despite the poison dripping from the bag of my inherited religion. Desperate with fear of the woeful wake that my melting mask would manifest. Wild with fear as I plunged head first, barely knowing how to swim, into the shimmering waters of truth, love, freedom and grace.

She rode into my life with supple saddlebags bulging with insecurities, fears and abandonment writhing beneath the field of well-tended, tightly-woven fescue of persona and power.

I wanted her. Unquestionably.

Our kisses, caresses and coupling awakened me for all time to the blessed reality of who God created me to be.

I loved her. Unabashedly.

I wrapped myself around her while still steeping in murky pain. My soul cracked and oozing with the rancid knowledge that I am the first to break my daughter’s heart. Devastated by a thickly hypocritical family who abandoned their abomination.   Wounded by the cackling community who delighted in turning their self-righteous backs on a friend so recently held dear. Faltering under the falsehood that God could not love me. Crushed again and again by the pounding waves of guilt, shame and grief.

I gave myself to her. Completely.
We supported one another persistently through sergeant & seminary, kids in school and kids at play, work all night & work from home, friends grieving and friends celebrating, lieutenant & blogger, brilliant big brother & damn fine digital strategist.

We raised children, puppies and our hopes.

We nested. Promising.

I needed her to be transparent with everyone, everyone, everyone.
She needed to be selectively closeted with everyone, everyone, everyone.

I sought unending tenderness, compassion and affection to heal ancient wounds she did not cause.
She sought to give and heal in the way she knew but it was stunted, stilted and stifled.

I saw her, and  knew.
She saw me, and knew.

Hoping, we doubted.
Committed, we changed.

She withdrew.
I pursued.

I simmered in my toxic, bubbling stew of fear, pain, insecurity, anger and loathing.
She retreated to a web of diligently developed distractions.
Believing, we lied to ourselves and each other.

We broke.

And all my anger and fear ran headlong into the train wreck of my grief, shame and pummeled self-respect. I finally exploded. I suppose it could have been way uglier when the locomotive of my emotions ran away and slammed into the abyss. Her ability to tightly control and show no emotions heaped coal right alongside the wild engineer shoveling glowing briquettes into the furnace of my heartbreak. Now we find ourselves chugging slowly through the dark valley with determination and hope as we rebuild on parallel tracks, trying to be kind and gentle even as the slings and arrows pierce to the bone.  We each seek to fully realize that core which has been unlocked but ultimately unfulfilled by one another. She shall seek and I shall write.

Dear L,

we are each other’s first
woman
and we desperately
each in our own way
tried to construct a life
out of weathered material
using battered tools

I am grateful
that I came to better know who
and what
I am
with you
in spite of you

understanding
and claiming this
I am free

to forgive
myself
you
for the us that was

to release
myself
you
from the us that never was

to love
myself
you
as the different us that will be

No matter what  toxicity lies between us now, no matter how far we must be from one another, no matter how drawn we are toward new destinies, no matter who we become or who we may love, I will always, always, always love you. I  hope you find what or who you need to complete you, I hope that they can love you as you need and as A deserves while I work to better understand, claim and overcome the pin-prick black hole in my soul that has sucked the light out of us.   That which unfurls before us is a shimmering flourish of the unknown yet strangely welcome silky precipice of hope, promise and grace.

May light and love shower down upon us both in whatever iteration we next find ourselves.

K

About Kimberly Knight

Kimberly has a long history of back-pew sitting, Wednesday night supper eatin' and generally trying God’s patience since 1969. She's lucky enough to have made her technology addition a career and serves as both the Director of Digital Strategy as a southern liberal arts college and Minister of Digital community with Extravagance UCC.

  • SageandPaul Appleby

    Kimberly,

    My prayers will be with you now and through the coming weeks, months, etc… I understand the pain and wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I pray for your continued healing. I pray for the strength to go on: to love, to laugh, to live the full and rich life that our loving God has in store for you.

    Peace in Christ,
    Paul

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you so very much friend.

  • Karen Guthrie Bigham

    Kimberly…..so sorry to read this. May God calm and nurture you in the days ahead, and may you find peace.

  • frank strong

    I’m an avid reader of yours, and I’m so sorry to hear this. I’m sure this post will help others, though I doubt that’s much consolation right now. Please know that lots of readers are thinking of you and wishing you the best!

  • http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/ Chris

    I’m very sorry to hear of your divorce… I have been out of the loop for some time as far as the interwebs are concerned, so I’m coming to this late, I suppose. With my own marriage being so new — and also so much like yours (beset by hardships and burdens from our own conservative upbringings) — it is especially hard-hitting for me. Best of luck to you in your new life, and God be with you.

  • gimpi1

    Lots of hugs and sympathy. Sadly, some relationships end. We’ve all been through it. Pain is one of the equalizers. You will pull through. You will be happy again. Good wishes.

  • GordonKS

    Kimberly – I’m so sorry to read about this. I’ve enjoyed your blog so much over the past months. Your willingness to share your pain has touched so many since October. I pray that you may find peace and wisdom from God as you face each new day.

  • James_Jarvis

    Kimberly,
    I am at a loss for words to hear about the break up of your marriage. I can not imagine how much more difficult it must be when those who should love and support you have failed to reach out to you as Christ commands us to. I know what it is like to have your faith shaken. I also know that as Paul tells us in Romans nothing can separate us from God’s love.

  • Terri

    Kimberly,
    My heart breaks as I read this, know that you and your family are in my prayers and thoughts in the coming days and months. Going through the loss of a parent is always hard, whether or not you were close, and can have effects on the rest of our lives whether we want it to or not. Please remember that you are held in his arms and he carries you through the darkest times and his perfect will be done. Hugs to you and yours

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you Terri, as you might imagine my faith is a bit shaken at the moment but at my core I know that it is true…

      K

  • Jax Hill

    Kimberly, thank you for sharing from the heart. Know that many hear, and understand, and have been there, and lived to tell the tale, and will be praying and pulling for you. You’re under a huge amount of pressure with life change and loss, so keep your head down, stay close to Christ as you can, and when you feel overwhelmed, try to remember all the virtual and real-life friends who are there for you. Many blessings.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you so very much Jax. May your new year bring you abundant blessings.

  • Mike Mayer

    After such an eloquent blog, I am humbled only to say that I hope and pray you may all find peace and healing.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you friend.

  • Judith Shue

    Prayers for you, L. and your whole family for strength, courage, wisdom – and peace. Most surely for peace. May the love and grace of God be a cogent salve for your grieving heart. You don’t know me, but I hope it helps to know I will keep you close in my thoughts.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you Judith, I am just overwhelmed with all the kind support from friends new and old. I hope the new year hold joy and promise for you.

      K

  • Daneen Akers
  • Daneen Akers

    I’m so sorry to hear this, Kimberly, and yet it sounds like you and your beloved are going through this with as much authentic presence and grace as possible. I heard a piece on NPR yesterday about the best music of 2013, and this album sounds amazing. It’s about a break-up (he wrote the album in response to his divorce), but it moves towards that gentle space of wishing each other the best “Joy to you baby.” Sending lots of love and compassion for you all.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you Daneen, thank you very much.

  • Elizabeth

    Kimberly – I’m a regular reader and follower over on Facebook. I’m so sorry to read this. Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of my own first experience of living alone at the age of 42. Thank you for your consistent honesty, vulnerability and willingness to share your own journey. I am so sorry to read about this, but your ability to pen such a striking love letter is inspiring. I hope your whole family experiences that peace which passes all understanding during this transition.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Elizabeth,

      Thank you for taking the time to share some of your own story. I am grateful for the many voices like yours who are offering love and support right now.

      K

  • Proud UCC Pastor

    Dear Kimberly, so sorry for this painful journey for you and for your family. Thank you for sharing so candidly what is surely a most difficult life experience. Sending prayers.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you :)

  • Erica

    So raw & so fresh. Peace for healing.

  • cqg

    Blessings in the midst of madness. Sadly, your bio will need to be edited.

  • http://www.emergentfaith.org/blog R. Jay Pearson

    Bless you for your courage, Kimberly. You (and she) have my prayers. The narrative of your faith says that only through the pain of tears, despair, turmoil, thorny crowns, and nails through the hands can new life be known. I know the difficult road you face. I pray you get through it, and be transformed and renewed at its end. You are loved. xoxo

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you very much R. Jay, your words are truly a balm.

  • melissia

    Aww :( I hope you find joy in life after this… and that she does as well. I’m glad that you still seem to wish her well even after these trials.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you Melissa

  • Ron

    I also want to thank you for your courage in writing this. I hope you know and experience somehow the love and grace of the God you serve. You are a wonderful person and I just want you to know how much I will pray for God’s strength for you today and as you enter the New Year. God bless you KImberly

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you so very much Ron, that truly means a great deal to me.

  • Queen Alice

    Love you sister in this hard time as He walks with you through the refiner’s fire. When my dad died 20 years ago I lost the faith I had in God and it took me years to stop being angry with Him for not “saving” my dad from cancer. And I was even more angry with Him for stealing my sheltered belief that the world is really a good place and only good things happen. I’ve walked through the refiner’s fire a few times and am certain I have a few more times (at least) to go. And I became the queen of divorce and “starting over”. All this to say that you WILL come out of this dark night of the soul. Even pain that feels like it will crush you will pass. Keep reaching out and writing your awesome words – you have a gift and a beautiful heart and you are loved.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Queen Alice,

      Thank you so very much for sharing a glimpse of your own dark night and for offering such kind support.

      K

  • mhelbert

    You are loved.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you friend

  • Darryl Wooldridge

    Blessings and rest

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you, blessing to you as well.

  • http://lotuslandfineart.com/ W. Lotus

    May you all heal and find peace, in spite of this imperfect ending.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you, hopefully it is also a beginning but I can not yet see that light.

  • http://soullikeaspider.com Deanna Ogle

    Oh Kimberly. Love, lots of hugs, and prayers are coming your way. May you find health and serenity on the road ahead. You are so very loved.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you, I am humbled by the kindness of so many people at this time.

  • Kate Green

    All my love and prayers are with you. I am so moved reading these words that you share with such vulnerability and strength. Thank you for writing your heart. Peace be with you.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you Kate, thank you so much.

  • Brandon Berg

    You have only my love, admiration, and understanding. Thank you for offering such a transparent and eloquent reflection.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you Brandon, I fear I know no other way to be than transparent. That seems to have been one of our problems..

      love you too!

  • Melody

    I’m so sorry. I wish I could offer you some more tangible type of support, but know that I feel with and for you. Love and loss, in all the ways they intersect, can certainly be excruciating.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you Melody, every kind word offered is huge support. Peace

  • Trevor Morgan

    Sorry to hear of the pain you’re going through.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you Trevor, hard days indeed. I am grateful for your kindness.

  • jeffstraka

    I am so so sorry. You are loved. And I am here.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

      Thank you Jeff, love you.


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