"We are One"
Come, and Become.
Let us fill this group, so that the power of our combined voices can enrich each others souls, and honor our Lord in harmony. "We ARE One"
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Yes, this is the safe room for people of faith.
Thanks so much for making me aware of this group. I am looking forward to getting to know my christian sisters.
Nicole, God knows too. He will tell you one way or another. He told me through two other people because I couldn't hear Him directly at the time.
Does you situation interfere with your ability to love others? If you have trouble loving yourself then you probably have trouble loving others. Is your level of internal turmoil preventing the Spirit from working fully in your life? Does the Spirit help you see the Bible in different ways than the preacher may tell you? God is there and He is talking to you.
One thing that was a real eye-opener for me was the essay I had to write to become a candidate for ministry. In doing that, I saw all the things God had done to prepare me to be in this place today. Most of them seemed insignificant at the time, but laid out on paper, side-by-side, they all added up to a divine plan. Perhaps doing something like that would help.
God made me just the way he wanted, then he called me to be his child. My job is to seek His will for my life and then to do it. That is worship.
Is His will for me to continue living as a man with few people knowing? Is it His will that I transition my life to match my identity? Is His will for me to embrace my transgenderness with strength, transparency, dignity and grace? No one can know the answer but me.
Wonderful comments today!
There is a five part series on Youtube, The Gender Puzzle, which explores the gender space between the binary of men and women.
There is also a series that documents the story of the identical twin boy that was raised as a girl on the presumption that we are totally the product of our socialization. How wrong the "experts" were!
Caroline, I agree with you 100%.
Gender congruence is a wonderful thing. Gender dissonance, incongruence or dysphoria is incredibly stressful. Gender is so deeply woven into the fabric of society and so defining of who we are that to change it is totally devastating to those we've kept in the dark about our inner feelings. To them it must seem like a sudden impulse, a spur of the moment even capricious decision. For those of us who have lived with it for a lifetime and who have finally found peace in changing gender, it is a God send.
Joy Ladin, quoting a young transwoman and then commenting on her words:
"“It’s going to hurt more than you can imagine, but you will have real feelings. You’ll walk outside and feel the sun and the rain on your face. You may go through hell, but it will be worth it.” Though I had never thought about transition so concretely – to me it still seemed like the magical fantasies of transformation I had lived on for years – her words had shockingly familiar quality. This was the voice that had called to me all my life. No more distance, no more numbness, the voice would whisper. You too can be human. Now I knew that the voice had been right. I did have real feelings. I felt pain, loneliness, terror, hope, exhilaration, triumph. I might not be a woman, but I had become human."
What does God have to say in the Bible about changing gender? Actually, nothing. The verse in Deuteronomy about not wearing the clothes of the opposite gender (Deuteronomy 22:5) is a mis-translation. What is translated as “male” should have been translated as “warrior” (geber), which leads to a completely different meaning for the verse. The (physically weaker) woman should not be expected to put on the armor of a warrior (and engage in battle). The modern Israeli army totally ignores this verse as both young men and women serve in the military. It is left to the pharisees in our midst to hang on to this mis-translation and throw it at us.
I claim Psalm 139 for what it says about our unique relationship with God as human beings. We learn from Ps 139 that God shapes and molds us even before we were born. We learn that we have value in God's eyes even before we're able to do anything on our own--and God has a plan for our lives from the very beginning. A human being is an incredible thing: far too complex and intricate to have come into being without the guiding hand of a Creator. Here, the psalmist marvels at the wonder of Creation and the power of the God who fashioned it.
From Psalm 139:
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
What of prayer? God does answer prayer. How should we pray? Should we pray for congruence in mind and body? Which gender does God want us to go with, mind or body? Has God already given us the answer and the path to deliverance? I think so.
It is my hope that what I am about to say comes across in them kindest way possible.. My comments here are meant out of love and meant to provide healing for those who think being TG and expressing their true gender in anyway goes against God's will for us.. Having faith so as to move mountains does not require that we abandon showing ourselves to the world around us. We are commanded to. "Love thy neighbor as thyself." It is a two part commandment. Please do not confuse loving God and doing his work with any need to deny who we are - God expects us to love others and ourselves, too. May you always find peace and strength enough to love in all the ways God wishes you to do.
Hiyas all, By way of an introduction and to make some friends, I am Robyn Burns from Steubenville Ohio. I have been happily married to the same woman for the last 10 years. She is very supportive to me. I am 53 years old and have been full time RLT Gender Marker and name change for 4 years now as of yesterday. I am friendly but a tad outspoken. (Ministers tend to be that way) I would like to share some things with all of you at some time. Please message me or call, I believe my number is in my profile. I am also a staunch advocate for our rights as well.
Rev. Robyn Burns
Well said, Nicole. And this is a great subject, Sheri Lyn.
I have started, at the Spirit's urging, the candidacy process for ministry; yes, me, an MtF pre-op TS. So many churches, even churches I was raised in, would reject me simply for being me. Fortunately, my church does not, nor does my denomination.
When I came here, it was from a church which had an official welcoming statement, in a denomination which suggests that all their churches do so. Indeed, the church was about half LGB. But even though we volunteered, we finally realized that we T's were not being allowed to participate.
After much too long a journey to detail here, I came here to Boston and a wonderful ELCA church. After formally joining, I hesitantly offered to read the scriptures one Sunday. Not only did they allow it, but several people made a point of thanking me and encouraging me. I now do it at least once a month. Emboldened by that success, I eventually offered to assist with communion (we have two lay helpers). To call that a rush is probably not the best Christian description, but perhaps you understand. And now, next month, I will be the assisting minister. BTW, yes, not only do they know, but had me do an Adult Forum on being TS.
Then I suggested a new type of Bible study. That was accepted and we are coming up on two years of that. But another thing that came from that is, to me, amazing. The Learning (or Education) Minister was asked who should succeed him; he said I should. The congregation agreed and elected me. This church not only accepts a TS as a participating member, but also has me in charge of Sunday School (part of the committee's purview)!
So, yes, some churches can deal with it. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Whether anyone thinks my "lifestyle" is a sin, I don't know, but I seem to doubt it. I think the few who even think about it realize that I am just being the person God calls me to be.
The first thing I had to do in pursuing my call to ministry was an essay on my life and calling. In looking back at my life and trying to recount the relevant parts, I was somewhat astounded by the changes that have occurred. It seems to me that Paul was right: I have become a new creation. And guess what, I'm still a TS. Paul doesn't say that will go away, only bigoted people say that.
There are churches whose minds are as open as Christ's. If Jesus could eat at Zaccheus' house, can He also eat at ours?
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