It has been a week since the article about me ran in the Deseret News and just over a week since the Church's website was released. I must admit, I've felt rather vulnerable--putting that much information about myself out there, along with my photo and my real name. It's something like the Emporer parading about in public in his new clothes, only I knew I was naked. Exposed to whatever might come.
I'm happy to report that the responses have almost all been positive. I must say, it's a strange feeling to have people from my past wards, who didn't necessarily know all my history, contact me and express their support. It has been greatly appreciated, while feeling a bit uncomfortable at the same time. Perhaps they felt the same way--like they were reading a lot of personal information about me, more than would normally be shared, but they expressed gratitude and admiration nonetheless. It was reaffirming for me, at a time when I could really use it.
I was also grateful because all of this has served as impetus for me to finish my second book, Reborn That Way. As I worked on it this past week, I felt buoyed up by those who expressed their support of me and what I was doing. I even contacted Deseret Book to see if they'd be interested in publishing it. I guess we'll soon find out.
An uncle called to say he and my cousins were behind me all the way. A friend from California sent me a text of gratitude. So did someone I hardly knew from Idaho. One woman from a previous ward contacted me via Facebook, another through my blog on North Star. Someone else wrote a letter, another emailed me through a third party, and several contacted me by phone.
I guess my point is that if you've been keeping part of yourself secret, you may want to consider sharing (although maybe not quite so publicly). You can determine who you think might best receive the news and be supportive. You might feel a bit exposed, downright naked for a time, but the sacrifice could be well worth it.
After all, keeping stuff secret often leads to shame. And no one should have to live with that. There are far better ways to live.
With gratitude and hope in Christ, for instance.