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A Season of Transition and Reflections [Dec. 18th, 2012|11:50 am]
Transgendered Christians

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[charlenaandrews]
A Season of Transition and Reflections
17 December 2012
Well here we are at the end of another calendar year, a few weeks into the new church year and definitely a in the midst of a season of change. My life is continuing in the desired direction and I am starting to see the results of persaonal choices over the few last years. Earlier in the year on February 4 I finally received a fully favorable decision concerning my total disability claim with Social Security followed closely, on April 12 with my name change petition being approved and finally on 29 June I underwent breast augmentation surgery which was very sucessful. On July 24 one of my closest friends and sister died at home unexpectedly while recovering from a major infection and it has deeply impacted my life. We had known each other for only a few years but the bonds of sisterhood and family were firmly entrenched in both of us. Earlier in the year in February I attended a political rally in the state capitol in support of stronger anti-bullying laws and a statewide fairness law both of which were stalled in commitee and although the bills didn't go through I did meet a young lady who was 25 years my junior and we struck up an immediate friendship. That young lady is now my fianc'ee and in early 2013 will be my wife, isn't it funny how these things happen? On November 2 we officially proposed to each other, and on November 3 I was honored to be invited to my spiritual daughter Kristen's wedding and I rejoiced over her dreams becoming reality. When you have had the privilege to watch someone go through adversity and come through it blossoming like a spring rose it is a very precious experience. The following morning I officially joined Highlands Baptist Church. In late November I turned 63 and the reality of my being a finite being actually started hitting home. I have a dear trans sister living in my home through the end of the month and it has been very painful watching her deal with the reality of her having to return to her own home. Of all the hard times this year I believe this has been the worst because it is around me day in and day out. To the good side I have been able to watch my 20+ month old grandson grow up in my home and have marvelled at how the maternal instincts deeep within me have blossomed into a Nana's love for Him. Tristan is the only grandchild left in my life since my coming out and I see him as a small gift from God to replace those I lost. Yes I still love them and miss them deeply but the reality of it is their parents won't let them see me or even be aware of who I am. Hopefully as they grow into adults they will possibly read this journal and desire to re-connect. I spoke in the title of Transitions and they have been many and each a blessing. The greatest is probably the realization that I am just a woman, no more prefixes or asteriks attached. Though all the physical changes are yet to be completed everything about me is female and I rejoice in that. At the start of the year I had pretty much assumed I would live and die as a widow so Myralee coming into my life both blindsided me and blessed me. I also came to realize that I have become very comfortable and at ease with titles like domesticated, homebody or even middle aged woman being used to describe me. I have found a very quiet joy in keeping my home in order and clean, in being there to help others and just hanging out at home. On the spiritual side after spending almost 3 years chasing after the elusive memories of being actively emersed in ministry for so many years I finally shut up in my mind long enough for Daddy to remind me that for everything there is a time and a season including ministering in certain ways or settings. He showed me the seasons and challenged me to take the spring into the summer or fall into winter. I finally understood that though such things are impossible to man we can take the memories of past seasons and remember them fondly without chasing after them possessively. After all these years you would think I would remember that lesson but I didn't. I have joyfully submitted myself to the leadership of my new church and though all the mighty miracles aren't a part of the services the Hoiy Spirit's sweet presence resides in the place continually and that is by far the most important miracle of all. As I wrote earlier I am engaged to be married soon and that in itself has been a major internal struggle with nearly 6 decades of teachings on the sanctity of marriage and more particularly that only by hetrosexual couples. Trying to reconcile all the indoctrination over the years with the fact that the Father not only brought Myralee into my life but also joined our hearts together in that very special selfless love so few of us have ever been blessed with. After months of praying, meditating and seeking God I came to the point of knowing this union wasn't of my making or any mans' but rather a precious gift from a loving Father to 2 of His children and what God has joined together I will not tear asunder. I don't know about all the hype over civil unions vs. marriage or straight versus same sex but I do know a gift from God when I see it and I guess the world may at some point realize it but regardless my heart is set on it's course and I am proud to be know as Myralee's wife and life partner. One of the major transitions this year has been my heart, it has gotten softer, gentler and more fragile. In my first marriage I got to a place where it was totally surrendered to my wife and marriage. Regardless of the kind of day I had or even what mood she was in at the end of the day when i came through the door I felt complete and whole. I was in a place where I could share my deepest thoughts, my great victories and crushing defeats in the outside world and I was still loved unconditionally. When she passed a great deal of my heart was buried with her. I found myself in a place of hiding my heart away from others out of fear of having it crushed again. I became the Hollowman I wrote of in my previous journal. I knew all the routies, and scripterd my life into a safe, but empty, pattern. Even through my early transitioning stages I managed to isolate my feelings and function on an impulse level. Looking back now I am realizing that may have had a great part in my going through my "slut phase". Not an excuse just an observation. Well I have been very cognizant recently that I am desiring and needing that same kind of relationship with Myralee and it honestly scares me. Hollowman always had one super power, he was impervious to emotional pains and hurts because he never made himself vulnerable to the outside world. The problem was that he couldn't accept or give love for fear of rejection. Looking back I am realizing that though my wife passed away to heaven there was a place in my heart that only felt rejection and abandonment even though my head knew differently. Funny how that works though we live in one body as a single individual there are so many indepent facets and functions present and working within us. Since we were made in God's image it should be no surprise that we aren't one dimensional but rather multi-faceted with an inate ability to function on several levels at the same time. For me it is a time to make the decision and tear down the walls around my heart and be whole and complete once more. If somehow through this upcoming marriage I am hurt again then I will just have to deal with it but the only other option is to become a very mechanical and safe person devoid of the feelings and emotions that makes us vibrant living people. I can actually say that even above coming out with all it's inherent rejection from friends and family this next step is probably the scariest challenge I face and I do it only because I cannot exist void of feelings and emotions plus I desperately need Myralee in my life to make both it and me complete. I wanted a woman's heart and now that it is here in full bloom I understand all the hidden pains, emotions, hopes and dreams that flow through it continually. I have no regrets but will say this is one of those unexpected prices that must be paid in my quest for womanhood. I have arrived at my destination and yet it is just a stopping point in my journey. This is a place for building a memorial altar of rememberance in my soul to return to in times of crisis to encourage myself and find a renewed strength to continue on my personal quest, to fulfil the destiny for which I was created.
    On another and final tangent I have been becoming increasingly aware of the need and calling to step outside my own personal comfort zones and reach the entire community, both of them, with the love and compassion of the Father toward a hurting and dying world. Where this conviction will lead me in the future is unclear but I will answer the call and walk out whatever He leads me to do. Finally I have recently had to watch several relationships struggle to stay together, sometimes unsucessfully, and have witnessed all the hurting victims on both sides. The sad part is that the usual cause is the useless baggage that we all carry around and seldom deal with. Maybe it is my advanced years talking but we really don't have the luxury of lugging garbage around and it always is a harsh taskmaster. Well I look around my home and it is empty and quitet so I believe I shall take a hard earned nap. Be Blessed and may your holidays be filled with joy and wonder and a spirit of expectancy for the years to come.
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