love

Coming to Terms with My Faith

**Trigger Warning**: Depression, Suicidal Thoughts

Before I began my transition I wasn’t certain that I’d be able to keep my faith, and be who I am supposed to be. Honestly, as someone who grew up in the church and actually believed in Salvation, this was devastating to me.

“I’m a sinner.” “I’m an abomination.”

Phrases like that continually ran through my mind because that was the belief that I had been taught to parrot. I truly thought that any deviation from what was considered “normal” meant that I would be forever separated from Jesus.

Depression, anxiety, fear, and anger were constants in my life. I knew that to be Transgender was to be spitting in the face of God.

It wasn’t until I had a gun in my hand ready to end my life did I wake up and realize that something had to change.

I began to examine my life and what I knew about God.

1 John 4:16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

This didn’t seem to fit with what I had been taught. God was a loving God, God cared about me. Why then would I fear that He would reject me? Didn’t He create me, after all?

Why would the church be teaching its followers that the LGBT community were disgusting, and going to hell if God made us who we are? Also, why was the church preaching rejection and ostracism when they’re supposed to be shining the light of God’s truth?

1 John 3:16-18This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

What I was reading in the bible was blowing my mind. I began to feel betrayed, lied to, and manipulated. We were supposed to be the beacon, the help, the loving, the compassionate. Instead we hated, tossed-out, condemned, and ignored.

God never desired this separation. God loves His children, and yearns for us to be in communion with Him. Instead, the church began acting like gatekeepers, picking and choosing who was allowed to worship.

Friends, we don’t need a building to pray. We don’t need pews to worship. Most importantly, we don’t need a pastor in order for us to interact with heaven.

I have reclaimed my faith- not in the constricting “stuffed in a box” form of Christianity as before, but I have been able to reconnect with what I know to be true. We are fearfully and wonderfully made- and designed with a purpose. We belong, and we are most definitely loved.

Much love to you all,
Megan

I Don’t Need Compassion, I Need Acceptance

I have to be honest; I am getting very tired being listed as a person that the church needs to treat with “compassion.” I know that they see me as something of an anomaly- something they do not know how to handle. I know that they disagree with who I am.

But I don’t need compassion. I am not ashamed or bothered by who I am- I was designed with a purpose.

A popular Conservative Christian Organization known as “Focus on the Family” actually drafted a statement about what they label as “Transgenderism”. *CRINGE* You can view it here.

In it, they state:

“While God’s intent for sexuality and gender is being turned upside down, we must remember that those who struggle with their gender identity have lived lives of great pain, confusion and rejection. And, just as Jesus went out of his way to reach the outcasts of society, we’re called to humbly share His love embodied in the Gospel, to lift them up in prayer and to allow the Holy Spirit to bring about conviction, healing and transformation.
We affirm the Christian view that to be human is to be holistically united as body and spirit. Scripture teaches that even in heaven believers will have gloriously redeemed physical bodies. In contrast, transgender revisionists hold to the pagan view that the body is a container that the spirit is poured into. They erroneously conclude that either God has mistakenly put an opposite-sex spirit into the wrong body or that the body is not the real person – that only the spirit is real. As Christians, we believe that God can heal these disconnected, gnostic views and bring restoration and wholeness – where body, soul and spirit are in unity.”

Firstly- If I am an “outcast of society”, it is because organizations and congregations like this have treated me as such. Jesus doesn’t see me as an outcast. 1st Corinthians 6:19 says “Haven’t you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that he lives within you?” Ephesians 1:4 says that “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” Jesus came so that I no longer would be separated from him, and despite others belief to the contrary, I know this to be true.

Secondly, While I will never say no to someone praying for me- I have to reject this idea that I need to be “fixed”. I am not some broken thing. I have repeatedly been spoken to by fellow Christians that say they are speaking in “love”, but their words are either thinly veiling their contempt, or outright disgust. I do not need to be convicted for being Transgender- I did not “choose” to be trans, but I have accepted it and decided to move forward in life.

Third, I do not believe that I was put into the “wrong body”; I believe I was made this way for a purpose, and that although I wish it otherwise, I know that God has a plan for me. Do I know why he chose to create me as a trans woman? No! However, this does not negate the fact that he did, with intention, create me as I am. Ephesians 2:10 says that “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” I may need healing, but not because I am Trans.

The church has done a lot of good, and you will never hear me claim otherwise. I simply wish that instead of treating those they do not agree with as “issues”, “problems”, or items “to be debated”, they would remember that we are all Gods children, and so therefore have a place at the table. Otherwise they will soon realize how empty that banquet has become.

Faith Should NOT be Used as a Weapon

Today I was reminded again how much harm some Christian’s can do when justifying their treatment of other people as “God’s Will”.

It was a strange encounter, honestly. I was leaving the bank this afternoon, and I passed by a vehicle where a man was helping a woman get a small child out of the back seat. He had forgotten that his driver side door was open, and it was opened far enough that it blocked the open parking space beside them. Wouldn’t it figure that seconds later another vehicle pulled into the parking lot, and wanted to use that blocked space?

I saw this truck pull up, and instantly knew that this was going to be bad.

It was black, and covered in bible verses and phrases like “repent or burn”, and “God hates fags”– right next to seemingly innocent ones like “Jesus Saves”, and “God Loves You.” I was cringing at this point.

Anyway, “God’s personal little soldier” saw that his intended parking spot was blocked, so he honked his horn, and kept pressing it so that the sound echoed all over. Heads were turning to look, and I was standing there opened mouth- just shocked. The first man realized what had happened and rushed over to shut his door, and gave a little wave in an obvious apology. The offended driver just zoomed into the parking space, obviously angry.

When he opened his door I saw that he was wearing a black t-shirt with the same phrases and verses written on it. By this time I had figured that the worst was over, and continued on my way to my car- but no. He walked over to the family (I am assuming; I do not know for sure) and began yelling at them about how inconsiderate they were, and that they should pay more attention! The first man just apologized again, and the other one just stormed into the bank.

The amount of hate and disregard for other people that was rolling off of that man was so thick that I could almost taste it. All I could think was that this was a terrible example of who Christ is, and what He stands for. It is nothing more than a perversion of the truth of God.

1st John 4:16 says “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 

Romans 13:10 says that “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” 

Luke 6:27 says “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”

Psalm 136:26 says to “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

John 15:9 says that “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.”

John 3:16 says that “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son.”

1st Corinthians 13:4-8 says that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud…it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Romans 5:8 “God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” 

These are only a handful of verses that describes the love of Christ for us. Nowhere does it talk about using it as a weapon or an attack.

It is hard to imagine a world in which God supposedly delights in the tearing down and belittling of people He loves and created. I refuse to believe it.

We are, all of us, fearfully and wonderfully made. It says so in Psalms 139:14. The bible also says in Romans 15:7 that we are to “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” 

My favorite bible verse to date is Ephesians 1:3-6. It says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption into becoming a child of His through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”

He chose us. We are holy and blameless in his sight. He loves us.

So tonight I am going to leave you with this. We are not called to hate, reject, disrespect, belittle, or tear-down one another. This is a lie that too many have decided to take up as a calling.

John 13:34-35 says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

That says it all, friends. Love one another. Show Jesus through love- because after all, that is why He came.

Transphobia IS A Sin

I get it. You’re used to being able to use the bible as your spiritual baseball bat, beating down anyone you do not agree with. We must look small from way up there on your high horse.

The thing is, Jesus is not on your side. Oh sure, He loves you, absolutely without question. But that thing you’re doing, making others feel worthless and small? Yeah, no.

“There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” – James 4:12

I mean, I think that’s pretty straightforward, but just in case-

“Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?”Roman’s 2:1-3

You see, the LGBT Community is not trying to get on your bad side. Many of us are Christians, trying to live a life that is pleasing and honoring God. Ultimately, He is the one with final say. I love Him, I KNOW He loves me. Do I make mistakes? Absolutely. At the end of the day, my walk with God is between myself and the Father.

Not you.

Instead of judging, ostracizing, hating, making fun of, or rejecting those of us that live differently than you do, maybe get to know us. Maybe then you’ll realize we’re not that different after all.

I am not a “Broken Thing”

“It’s just a fad you’re going through.”
“This is your cross to bear.”
“Have you tried praying about it?”
“When Jesus tells me that I should, I will accept it.”
“God doesn’t make mistakes.”
“Maybe you need to speak to someone about it.”
“I will always respect you, even though you are living in sin.”
“You wouldn’t be badly treated if you were not living this way.”
“You chose this, now you have to deal with the consequences.”
“You will always be a man in a dress.”
“We all have struggles. You just need to give it to God.”
“I will pray that God reveals His truth to you.”

Tired of reading these yet? I promise you cannot be more tired of reading those, than I am of hearing and seeing them. Being invalidated daily, sucks.

We can do so much better, folks. We are called to minister to the broken, not tear them down, berate them, or treat them as lesser human beings because of who they are as a person.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mothers, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:29-32

 

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” – John 15:12

“If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” – 1 John 4:20-21

“The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:31

“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:3-5

The bible is clear about how we should be treating those around us, no matter the difference of opinion. Would it be nice if we all agreed? Absolutely, but that is not going to happen on this side of heaven. Attacking other people though, ostracizing them because they are different, belittling, rejecting, and judging them simply because they live differently than you do does not follow the examples of Christ.

I am a Christian. I am saved. When I die, I will be reunited with the Father in Heaven. No matter what you think, say, or feel to the contrary, my salvation is not contingent on your acceptance of who I am as a person. That is up to Christ.

I accepted His gift, and I am focusing my energy on spreading that message. Christ loves me. My being Transgender is not a mistake- I am not some broken thing, I was created with a purpose. I was made with an intentional design.

There are days I wish I had all of the answers, I wish I knew what the plan for my life was. However, since I do not know, I can only trust in the Father. I will continue to move forward, loving Him, and loving others.

What will you do?

 

~Megan~

 

My Response to the Nashville Statement

 

I have been thinking about what to write in regards to the Nashville Statement all day today. I am not going to lie, my heart is heavy.

If you are not aware, this week more than 150 spiritual leaders got together and wrote out a document in which they laid out their “response to an increasingly post-Christian, Western culture that thinks it can change God’s design for humans”. Contained within are 14 items or articles in which they discuss several items, including not allowing sex out of marriage and their belief and how it pertains to biological sex and gender identity.

While these are nothing new, and have been discussed by the church before, they are laying this down as a guideline for churches across America as a tool for Christian leaders to use when confronting things they disagree with.

Article 10 is the item that got me the most, I think.

“WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.

“WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.”

Now then, let me start off be saying that the rhetoric and logic used by these leaders is not only hurtful, it is dangerous ground to be walking. We see here a complete disregard for one of our greatest commandments given to us by Christ; love one another. Church leaders are placed in their position to reach the hurting and the lost. Instead of focusing on such things as white supremacy, racial discrimination, or ways to assist the hurting in their community, they chose instead to focus their time on writing a document that is not only hurtful, but anti-God.

Let me explain; God has already given us proof that the LGBT community is loved and accepted

Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” 

Ephesians 1:3-6 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption into becoming a child of His through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”

We were made with intentional purpose, God knew what was going to happen before we did. The fact that the church is trying to put words into His mouth is just wrong. There is a reason I am Transgender, and I am living my life in a way that I hope to honor my Father.

This whole situation reminds me so much of the time that Jesus’ apostles were trying to keep the children from coming before their teacher.

Matthew 19:13-15 “Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His Hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said “Let the little children come to Me. Do not forbid them for of such is the kingdom of Heaven.” And He laid His Hands on them…” Don’t you see? Instead of letting us be ministered to and allowing us to worship alongside them without judgement or condemnation they are being a gatekeeper. These leaders are stating that they are allowed to decide who is allowed before the throne.

Please, stop trying to dictate who is allowed simply because you disagree. We have a right to worship, just as you do.

So, as a Christian LGBT member I hope you realize that there is nothing wrong with you. You are not sinning- you are following the plan that was laid before you by the very same being who hung the stars in the sky and counted every hair on your head. Being LGBT is not a choice, and God knows that.

Don’t forget; Jesus hung out with those that the Church leaders of the day rejected. Who do you honestly think that he would hang out with today? Would it be the bigots and religious gatekeepers, or the ones that are continuously ostracized by the very people who were called to love them?

All in all, this piece of paper doesn’t change anything other than labeling the signers as people who look at us with contempt. We will show them a different way to think if we decide, today, to take back our faith and instead of relying on the leaders, actually read the bible on your own.

We are stronger than this, we will overcome!

Megan

Where is God When We are Hurting?

Life here on Earth can be messy, painful, and stressful. We will all experience some form of struggle during our lives. Of course we know that there can be such joy in our lives, but those bad times can be so incredibly difficult.
We as Christian’s know in our minds that God is there, but in these hard situations sometimes it can feel like God is so far away in the physical here and now.

In all honesty, no matter how often we feel God’s hand in and on a situation there are those other times when He lets our situations grow into a seemingly impossible circumstance. It’s in these times of trial and hardship that we (I know I can’t be the only one) sometimes ask the Father why He would allow this thing to happen to us.

Why do we ask this? I don’t actually believe it is from a lack of faith, but rather because we know who God is, the all-powerful, all-knowing, loving Father- we want Him to intervene in our circumstances and help us.

Unfortunately this can be where the aforementioned lack of faith comes in. When God happens to decide not to answer our prayer the way we requested or expect, we can begin to doubt.

The thing we have to realize, though, is that God sees things on a much bigger (and let’s face it- a much farther) scale than we do. He is not bound by our time table, and certainly not required to conform to our expectations. If He did this He would not be Master, but servant only. Does He love us? Absolutely! Does He want what’s best for us? Always. This means though that what’s best for us isn’t always what we expect.

I have heard people call God callous or heartless because of something very difficult that has happened to them. God is never to blame for what we go through, and yet He loves us so much. He doesn’t want us to struggle or to be in pain. He cares for us.

Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are?”

I believe that God allows us to experience some of these terrible things so that we truly believe in His power and love for us.

This brings to my mind the story of Lazarus in John 11. A short time before His crucifixion Jesus was sent a message that His dear friend Lazarus was very sick. His friends sister’s, Mary and Martha were expecting Him (Jesus) to rush to their house and heal their brother.

He said in John 11:4-6 “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”Now Jesus loves Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days.”

So instead of rushing to His friends side, He waited two more days. Why did He do this?

He explains in John 11:14 “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

When Christ finally makes it to Mary and Martha’s home, He discovers that their brother had been dead for four days. Mary is understandably upset, and while crying told Jesus that if He had been there, Lazarus would be alive.

Her belief wasn’t an issue. She knew already that Jesus had the power to intervene and heal her brother. I am almost positive that she was hurt, confused, and heartbroken that Jesus didn’t seem to have cared enough about her family and arrive in time to save Lazarus.

However, Jesus identified and understood her pain, after all- Lazarus was His dear friend.

John 11:33-35 “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” He asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept.”

By this time Lazarus’ sisters, and the people who had gathered had to have expected that this was the end of it. However, it was then that Jesus chose to act and miraculously brought Lazarus back to life! Through this action He not only showed them His love, but also revealed Himself as Messiah. He chose to do this in this manner so that they would not just know who He was in their minds, but also experienced a life-changing event and believed in His power and love.

It would have been easy for Jesus to heal Lazarus, in fact I’m sure He wanted to. However, by choosing to wait He was able to truly show His power, and gave them faith that no matter what they went through they could trust that He was going to be there for them.

Are you going through a difficult or seemingly impossible circumstance? I just want you to know that Jesus is always there for you, no matter how dark it may seem. He wants to comfort you in the midst of your suffering, and wants to do something amazing for you. It may not be in the way we expect, but His plan has always and will always be better than our own.

He promises to always be there for us, and that He will never leave us. We are not alone. What an absolute comfort!

~Megan~