In the original paper that wrote last year, this is where I came to my “conclusion”. I’ve decided to republish it here essentially unedited, however I can’t really present it as a conclusion. There is so much more to be learned, so much more that I have learned since penning this “conclusion”. I’m going to wrap to up the “Refinding Faith” series for now, with the understanding that it will be a journey that lasts a lifetime and, consequently there will be more posts to come.
So I invite you to look at the following at a snapshot of that journey as it was unfolding in April of 2014:
The Emotional Trek
Over the course if my life I have deluded myself into thinking I was controlling my emotions. I’ve recently learned that the very nature of emotions makes that impossible. We may manage them – that is deciding what immediate visible impact they have or how much they dominate our thoughts – but emotions are happening in us all the time. We were created to feel as efficiently as we think.
For years I have worked very hard at squelching the emotions that have come along with the Gender Dysphoria I have experienced. Everything from guilt and shame to peace and comfort (then guilt and shame for feeling the peace and comfort!) have laid dormant somewhere deep inside me. There has also been no small amount of fear as I wondered what would happen if people knew what I was feeling and thinking. There has been regret and remorse for my lack of transparency; feelings of insecurity and inadequacy as I have tried to fill roles and assume identities that I didn’t believe were attached to the core of who I am.
As I think about specific events of bullying and violation, feelings of humiliation, embarrassment, resent and devastation come to mind. Even as I look forward to living a life more exposed to the light of truth there are anxious thoughts, insecurities and confusion running alongside more optimistic thoughts of resolution and liberation.
While allowing myself to engage emotionally over the last few months it has been an ever present challenge to maintain a sense of balance with reasonable and rational thinking. Even more challenging has been accepting the fact that some things we experience defy reason and are not tied down by rationale. While we are never excused from responsibility, we should not be burdened with always explaining what we feel and why – to ourselves or anyone else. We were created – mind and body – in the image of the supernatural. Our abilities to reason are limited to the natural. For that reason, I am convinced now more than ever that there will always be a gap between feeling and thinking to some degree or another.
Having said that, the intent of this project has been to communicate an understanding of where I stand with my transgender identity and my interpretation of scripture and, more importantly my relationship with God.
Looking at scripture there is no doubt why there is debate on this topic and why the debate will not likely be settled this side of heaven. I have no delusion that I have uncovered any arguments that will be the “key” to unlocking this cultural and spiritual hot spot.
I have not seen any scripture to refute the idea that there is a distinction between our emotional or psychological gender and our physical sex. As such, in a world where our bodies and minds are subject to our separation from God (who admittedly is a God of order and not chaos), it is conceivable that there could be a chasm between the two. Furthermore, concepts of clothing and other external expressions are cultural and any prohibitions regarding them are 1) rooted in Old Testament law and 2) focused on keeping ourselves separate from pagan worship practices – something that in an age of worshipping in spirit and truth is more about the heart of the worshiper than it is the ritual of worship.
This is proving to be both one of the most exhausting and liberating seasons of my life, and I realize we are just at its beginning. At the end of the day my hope and prayer is that God will reign and bring each of us His wholeness, His Shalom.