Category Archives: Coming Out

The World is about to turn

My soul cries out with a joyful shout
that the God of my heart is great,
And my spirit sings of the wondrous things
that you bring to the ones who wait.
You fixed your sight on your servant’s plight,
and my weakness you did not spurn,
So from east to west shall my name be blest.
Could the world be about to turn?

Refrain
My heart shall sing of the day you bring.
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near,
and the world is about to turn!

That is from “Canticle of the Turning” by Rory Cooney.

It is one of the pieces of music done by the choir at our annual church convention.  I love the music and the words!

It was inspired by an Irish melody and Mary’s Magnificat.

I do feel that my world is about to turn.  I am changing from being a minister who feels defective to becoming an autistic minister who feels empowered.

For the first time at a church convention, I didn’t feel that I had to hide in my room, so that  — what I now know to be my autistic characteristics —  wouldn’t show.  Instead, I let the autistic me out — to sing and dance to music and whoop and holler while playing rounds of Uno.

I met privately with several other ministers, and let them know of my Asperger’s diagnosis.  They were very supportive, and it was a relief to be known and accepted.  I had a meeting with my peer ear minister who knows of the autism, and could process the experience of being so openly me at Convention, and coming out further.

I talked more with the prospective publishers of my manuscript, and realized I was actually able to talk about it without feeling embarrassed.

Usually, I leave the convention feeling exhausted.  This time, I left with joy.  I was tired, yes; but my heart was full.

The joining together of the “minister me” and the “autistic me” is a bit like me and God working together.  It felt right.

The world is about to turn.

 

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On Coming Out …. Or Not

This is a big decision.  What would it mean to let people know that I am an autistic minister?  Other autistic people might appreciate knowing a minister on the spectrum.  However, neuro-typicals might feel that they could not trust me anymore.  I could lose a job that I love very much.  Or I could lose the confidence of some of the people I minister to.   Probably my ministry would be re-shaped in ways that I can’t now imagine.  Some of the changes would probably make me happy; others of them perhaps would make me sad.

I’ve been writing some things about mental illness and spirituality, and have been in conversation with a publisher who might be interested in publishing it.  When they requested some additional material, I threw in a chapter about my own journey with autism. I think I was hoping they would say that the material about my autism doesn’t really fit in this prospective book.  But, instead, they especially like that chapter!  What do I do now?  Do I leave it in?  Do I give them more of my writing on the subject?  Do I forget the whole thing and walk away?

Continuing this conversation with the publisher could change my life in some dramatic ways.  As an Aspie,  I do not like change.  I especially don’t like it if I don’t know in advance exactly what lies down the road!

As with all major decisions, I know that it is not ultimately a matter of avoiding my fears of the unknown.  It really comes down to my relationship with God.  What does God have in mind here for my life and for my ministry?

 

 

 

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Filed under Coming Out