My New Love!

Yes, it has finally happened. I fell in love and don’t think I can ever come back to the US. Ah, nothing like love to sweep you off your feet, to make you giddy. And here is the shocker–I did not fall in love with a man!

I know, I know, after all that ex-gay and ex-ex-gay stuff, it is crazy. But we can’t control love. It happens in the strangest ways, in the strangest places. And yes, I know about long distance relationships, the challenges, particularly with cross-cultural stuff.

And this love is, well, complicated, because my new love is not, well, human. You see I have fallen in love with Tartex, the organic vegetarian yeast paste, (Available in Mushroom, Green Olive, GarlicHerb Meadow, Shiitake and Original) popular among vegetarians in Sweden and Germany.

And now, Sweden’s Next Top Tartex Model!!!

For all my silliness, I actually am feeling a little sad these past few days. It is lovely here and the people are super, but I miss home and increasingly feel the loss of my mother. Tartex on bread (and lentils and bananas and dark chocolate) just doesn’t fill the void.

Lately I’ve been thinking about what good came of my ex-gay experiences, especially my time in Love in Action. (No doubt more harm came than good, but still some good came).

One thing I learned during that time as I deeply felt the loss of my wife, who was also my best friend, was how to sit in pain without driving it away or covering it over.

I remember a moment when I thought I was going to die of heartache and I begged Jesus to take away the pain. Hit me with that Holy Ghost Heroin!

Suddenly words formed in my head to the effect, “I will not take away the pain, I cannot, it is real, but I will sit in it with you.” (Inspired in part by the scriptures that the suffering servant is a man of sorrows acquainted with grief and that he can fellowship with us in our own sufferings)

So for weeks and months I let the pain just be. At the oddest times I burst into tears and wept uncontrolably (at the end of Mr. Holland’s Opus and listening to Michael W. Smith???!). But I just let the pain be, often without words, just sitting with the ache and with an image of Jesus, gentle, compassionate, patient, sitting and waiting by my side. And really what more can we want from a friend?

This post has 6 Comments

  1. abbyladybug on September 22, 2006 at 3:54 pm Reply

    I don’t know the grief of losing a parent, but I do know the grief of losing a marriage. I think that “So for weeks and months I let the pain just be” is such good advice. A lot is just accepting that grief takes time. It’s going to be hard. I’m so sorry you have to go through it.

    On the other hand, I’m loving your new love. CUTE PICTURES, too.

  2. scotmagicman on September 22, 2006 at 4:38 pm Reply

    Can’t believe you’ve lived this long without Tartex! S/he has been part of my life almost since I climbed out of my pram. I’m so pleased you share my taste….

  3. Tina Encarnacion on September 22, 2006 at 5:15 pm Reply

    Okay, you had me until you said “yeast paste.”

    I’ve heard great things about Sweden. So lovely to experience it through your eyes.

  4. KJ on September 23, 2006 at 3:10 pm Reply

    I”ve often wondered what Michael W. Smith would think if he knew how meaningful much of his music was to me through the coming out process. “I’ll Lead You Home”. “Breathe In Me”, “I Know Your Name, ” the list of songs goes on and on. God bles him!

  5. Peterson Toscano on September 23, 2006 at 10:47 pm Reply

    kj, yes! Those songs exactly.

    Goodness one night in LIA I was paralyzed on my bed with my ear buds in and MWS wailing away. I never came to dinner that night as I wept on my bed and the house parents didn’t know what to do with me. They eventually called John Smid. I had to explain myself during the next rap night. But how do you explain what you don’t fully understand?

  6. Jennifer on September 24, 2006 at 5:09 am Reply

    Very unusual object of your affection that you have going now! Sounds thrilling for a unique vegan such as yourself. Nice photo shoot too!

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