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Guest Shawn Sunshine

Acceptance as a Christian and my journey?

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Guest Shawn Sunshine

Hello there, well coming up is August and its hard to believe its been almost a year since I lived in the bay area. I miss it immensely and wish I had never left. It seems after all there was no real reason for me to come back to Texas, as the housing authority wants to make me wait another year from October this year to port again. But I just can't wait that long. I know now in my heart of hearts I belong there and should be a part of the community there. I have spent an awful long time in prayer and having it seems some prophetic dreams from G-d telling me to accept the female side of myself. I wonder if this means to embrace being fully female or accept being somewhere in between. I truly felt mentally and spiritually fully female last year. If you would have asked me I would have no doubts at all. But now it seems I have doubts again. I think it mostly had to do with the gift G-d gave me to use my voice and how I have wasted it and not used it. I can do many male voice impressions. Been emulating male voice characters for years but never getting paid for it. Yet I have a strong desire to get voice surgery in South Korea someday since they can do a surgery that gives you a natural speaking and singing voice without too much risk. I have to admit I have always wanted to be able to sing soprano and natural and feel able to express my inner soul in that way. Does not seem likely you can do that with just voice training alone. Others have had luck they say but I want something more if I am going all the way.

The other thing is while I can see myself in the here and now within a few years being all female, I can't see myself as an older woman. I still see a male self in my older years. So do I just do my best to accept being intersex and live somewhere in between and still being a helpful person to all lgbtqqi people and just people in general or do I allow myself to go the other direction and embrace womanhood as best as I can given the situation?

I worry about still how my family and friends will treat me and possibly despise and hate me as they will see these things as an evil choice. That fear is still there. Also the fear of what G-d will say to me when I bow before him/her. Will G-d say well done or will he deny me and say..."sorry you were wrong to accept that" "i know thee not, depart from me". I have only just in the last year come to accept that being anything LGBT or Intersex or Genderfluid is right and ok before G-d. Yet again that fear is still there.

After meeting the pastor and folks at the church in Alameda and the few other Christians who are Colorful and part of the rainbow, I come away with mixed feelings. I see the fruit of the holy spirit in some and yet not others. But to be fair I see straight cisgender people doing the same thing. Some claiming to love G-d and live right and follow the commandments to love one another. I see it all the time people having 2 faces or not really being the servants they claim to be.

All I know is I am still very much struggling with myself at age 41 now, wondering how to be the full and happy and content person I should be instead of this empty shell of a person that I feel like now.

Blessings to you all.

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Guest LizMarie

I recently had an email exchange with a Baptist pastor. And it wasn't what you might have expected. We talked about three groups of Christians. The first were the loud, judgmental types that get on the news and drive radical political activism against everyone they hate. Both the pastor and I saw them as Pharisees and not really Christians.

Then there was the large apathetic majority who go to church and who are kind but don't really try to put Christ to work in their lives.

The final group were those who emulated Christ, who forgive, who serve, who love, who try not to judge.

The pastor emphasized to me that he is in that third group and that he's trying to awaken more in that second group. And at the end of several emails back and forth, his final comment to me was: "P.S.: If I thought God was like that first group of Christians, I'd rather be in hell than spend eternity with them!"

Don't allow one judgmental group to form your entire opinion about all Christians. Don't allow one judgmental group to dictate who you have to be according to them. Find a church that accepts you, as you are, however that works out, whether you transition or not.

My advice to you is to find yourself first. And for me, that process was hugely enabled with a good therapist.

You be you, whoever that is, and don't allow judgmental people to force you into being someone you are not.

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Guest sophia.gentry58

Hi Shawn;

As I was reading your thread I thought about a few points I wanted to make to you, but as I scrolled down to enter my thread I noticed that Liz eloquently made them for me. Heed her wise words Shawn. :)

Sophia

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Guest Dillinger

Religious institutions are rife with hypocrites but that doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy them. There are good people, you just have to look at them and ignore the jerks. That is the only way to endure church. Personally I have found that I am happiest not going but when I do I go to a church that suits my needs. Some may say you cannot make religion suit your needs because belief in god calls for a sacrifice and so on and I get that. I tried other churches but they, like you said, gave me mixed feelings. Too many fake people. People going because they thought it made them look good. And often times after settling into one of these churches someone would spot one of my many differences and call up a mob with pitchforks. It just got to be more of a weight upon my soul than the comfort it was supposed to be. So, maybe, do some church shopping. Find one that works for you. One that subscribes to the belief that there are many paths to God tend to look more favorably on people of the LGBT spectrum.

As far as reconciling yourself to whether God will except you come judgement day... well no one has the luxury of knowing unfortunately. It is beyond us. All you can do is make your life reflect kindness and grace and hope you made the right decisions. For me I adopted the five Buddhist precepts as a supplement to my patchwork faith. Basically refrain from hurting others and living things, stealing, sexual misconduct, slander and lies and substance abuse. In fact much of Buddhism brings me comfort and manages to fit in with my belief in God. It makes me a better person, one that I think God would like. Maybe not an ideal Christian but a decent human being and more like what Jesus described. I think finding the balance for yourself is important. Far more important than sticking to some churches doctrine. If you can settle into a way of belief that fits who you are, you might be more comfortable. Maybe not anymore confident in your salvation but since we can't be sure anyway we might as well make living bearable. I'll tell you, my soul has never been more at ease than it is these days.

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Guest ClareJuliette

Agreed - find a church that accepts you. They do exist! And then continue to seek God - wherever that may take you on gender journeys or spirituality journeys. She (he) is the God of surprises.

I know there are Christians who will see you (and me) as objectively disordered, in need of healing, sinning, possessed or whatever else and who might start throwing pick-and-choose verses from Deuteronomy at us. But they're not all like that. Some are more into love, compassion, beauty, service, and generally aiming to be Christlike and not just Christian.

My own situation - I'm 42 and have only been able to accept this and come out to myself this year and have fully embraced myself after decades of being anti-me. (My first church had lots of ministry tapes from the gay-cure movement and as a young enthusiastic convert all that drivel became rooted within me for too many years) At this time I'm part of two churches. In the evening I am Clare and everyone accepts me, knows me only as Clare and doesn't give me any funny looks for physically still appearing to be a man in a frock. Ah, the joy of MCC! In the other church (where I'm on the little team who lead services and preach) I am known only as a man and hardly anyone knows about Clare. That all changes on Sunday though when a public statement I wrote will be released by arrangement with a very understanding vicar. Is this a church that accepts me? I don't yet know. There are a few I know to be in that first group of Christians. A majority probably in that second group. And a few in the third group.

God will never leave you or reject you for being the person he made you - whether you're male, female, intersex, cis-, trans-, or whatever else you might discover or embrace along the way. He made you and you are beautifully and wonderfully made and nothing can separate you from his love; not death, not life, and not even those Christians who are ignorant of the amazing diversity that is in the beauty of the human race. (to quote and paraphrase the Bible) Sorry - heading into preacher mode again there.

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VickySGV

In the two years I have been on the Playground here, I have left a number of posts in this forum about my journey within my church which is very accepting and welcoming. They knew me for nearly two decades as a male -- well, sorta male -- but when I came out, they were open to caring if not fully understanding. Rick is remembered, but Vicky is the active member now in ways that he never was able to be. This at least is the goal of my entire national church, but it needs work in some places, and I have offered myself to that ministry as much as I can be. In my parish I am a Lector and Intercessor, and the pastor knows I would be glad to serve as a Lay Eucharistic Minister. It is in the works.

As far as God and Christ go with things, I approach the altar rail now and find that the welcome is brighter and the depth of feeling all the more as I take the Body and Blood of Christ into my own with love and reverence. My first Sunday back after my SRS was very cautious, but as I came forward I truly felt that I was being comforted in my fears and I left the rail with tears of happiness in my eyes. Indeed I had worried, since in the past if I have not been in good relations to either God or others around me, I had felt a caution not to approach the altar until I had made amends and reconciled where it was appropriate.

One thing has not changed in my life though, and that is the knowing that I must be ready at the end of my life, in one brief moment to tell God, "Thy will be done" and know that God's true will is always to keep my spirit in God's presence. Give God the control, and the rest is details.

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Guest Shawn Sunshine

:ThanxSmiley: for all your helpful replies...I still have some exploration to do...but at the very least I have been able to accept others for who they are...i use to be a somewhat conservative Christian not just 2 years ago.

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Guest skittles413

Great story Liz. That can be so true. I am scared about how our church will handle things when Ashley and I come out- if that is the path that comes down the road in the next few months or so. She really loves our church and wants to keep going. So I guess we shall see. Praying for nothing crazy to happen.

Corbin

droppingfigleaves.com

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