“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.”
My Dear Friends, it’s National Coming Out Day. I’ve been wanting to share some tough truth with you for a while. Today seems to be a fitting day to do it. Will you sit with me in this place, with love and openness?
Tams and I are getting a divorce.
I know for many of you, this may feel out of nowhere. But social media paints the brightest of pictures, not always the most accurate ones. That being said – I have always tried my best to tell the truth about life and relationships.
Much like my sexuality, this is a message deep inside of me that I tried to bury & suffocate. I didn’t want to know this truth: that this relationship was over for me. But I learned this time around not to fight myself for so many years. If something is True for me, it’s just True.
This decision has been the hardest thing I have done in my life up until now. But after much prayer, time & counsel, I know it is the right one for me.
However – there is a profound amount of pain in admitting this truth. Profound. I can’t properly explain the lonely struggle I have felt.
I have put an insurmountable amount of pressure on myself to make this work. I just wanted it to so badly. And then as time went on – I wanted to want to.
Here’s the thing: I wanted the ending of my book to be true forever. I wanted my own queer fairy tale to withstand the test of time. I know a lot of you did, too. But my beautiful friends, can we promise that to each other? To never change? I don’t think we can, or should. It’s not possible. Can we instead just promise to tell the truth when we do change?
In “Still Stace”, my story wasn’t about finding love and living happily ever after. My story was about finding myself. My story was about choosing to live authentically to my Voice.
So here I am again, at 42, having to do that. As a close friend said to me, this is like coming out again. And today, it does feel very much the same. Like coming out, I will disappoint and lose people over this decision. But that’s okay, because just like before, I know I’m living my Truth. And that’s enough for me.
Despite knowing this is the right road for me, my heart is broken in a hundred different ways. I desperately didn’t want to abandon the idea of this beautiful family we worked so long and hard to build. I have dug my heels in and white knuckled my way through for a while now.
My time in England was a desperate attempt to get some physical space to hear my Voice. Like many queer people of faith, I often struggle to hear my Voice clearly. There’s always so much shame and doubt and fear mixed in. And I have learned to stifle my Voice when people I love may get hurt. My Voice in regards to my marriage was buried and muffled for a while. And honestly, I did a lot of the muffling myself.
The truth is this: I felt called to get clarity. I felt England would bring it, come what may. I finally had some actual time alone, far away from my life. I asked God in my fear for clarity, for peace. I asked my Voice what She had to say.
And I got clear, loud answers.
I did not like the answers I got, so I kept asking. But again & again throughout those three weeks, God in Her infinite wisdom and kindness gently kept confirming it. “It’s okay Stace,” She said. “This is just your truth, and it’s okay to fully see it now. I’m here & I will love you through this.” My sweet Voice kept agreeing through tears. It brought deep grief – but also, finally, some release and freedom.
As Glennon Doyle said, I just couldn’t keep abandoning myself to make something work. Even if the something is beautiful. Because the reality is, if I have to abandon any part of me to fit, it’s no longer the beautiful thing it was meant to be.
There is so much more to say about this, but I want to honor & protect all involved as we continue to walk this extremely difficult season. As time unfolds and clarifies things, I will share when appropriate. There are many lessons I’m learning, that only unrelenting grief can teach you. And truthfully, there aren’t enough resources for queer people (& families) going through separation and divorce – so my friends, I’m taking notes.
Right now, everything feels Hard. My whole life is in flames, and there’s so much upheaval everywhere I look. I have no stability. I’m grieving, I’m heartbroken, I’m mostly just surviving. But I am surviving.
If it feels like I’m letting any of you down, I’m so sorry. But the reality is this: I firmly believe I am following my Voice, and in the end, that’s the only thing I can do. Follow my authenticity wherever She leads – even if it’s into the darkest & deepest valley.
I also know… hope is on the horizon. I feel it. I know that one day at a time, this will get better. I am choosing to believe that. Truth liberates all.
Please my friends, I have one request. Please don’t reach out with questions of – did we try this or that, what happened, why, how could you… please respect our privacy during this time. If you want to send messages of love and support, I would gladly take those. My focus right now is doing my best to love myself, and all involved, through this. The road ahead is rough.
Thank you for listening to me in my Hard Place. Sending love, courage & tenderness to you in all your Hard Places.