What is the Fear and the Presence and the Epiphany?

One of the things about coming into accepting myself as trans, is fear. Fear of the future. A future in which the moment I’ll have to come out will be emotionally draining with lots of bewildered tears and denial and disbelief and hugs and (perhaps even) loathing and the ground shifting beneath the feet of my family and friends, co-workers and church.

While I’ve been on this journey for years and I’ve experienced reaching this point as a long hike in the woods, the moment I come out, for the people I’m coming out to, they’ll experience it as a bullet train ride with no seatbelt or windshield. When I eventually come out, I’ll be asking them to make the journey that I’ve been on for years, in a matter of moments. (Of course, for my loved ones, it won’t be, it cannot be this way; they, too, will need time to arrive. They, too, will need to put on their boots and go on the hike, until they can meet me where I am.)

This fear of the future is also about:

How will I find a new faith community that is inclusive, that will welcome me as a pastor?

Will I be able to keep working in the same company and profession I am in now? Will they be willing to evolve with me? If they cannot, how will I find a new job?

Will I lose all my friends? Will I be severed from my family?

* * *

I’m  reading Rob Bell’s new book, What Is the Bible? And in reading, I’ve experienced a moment of epiphany that felt like… an encounter of a kind I have never had before.

“God is retelling … everything,” Bell writes. He reminds us that the horrible camping trip is horrifying. But when you tell that story, the terrible moments become the funny bits that you end up embellishing more and more the more you tell it. A terrible camping experience becomes something else entirely in the retelling of it. So with human history, so with God. So with my own life. Amen.

This gave me courage to face my looming future. Because it meant I can include all my story and carry it into the unknown future.

Yes,  I wish there were alternate realities that were accessible to us through some crazy quantum physics, and that I could hop over to this other reality where I was born with a female body and assigned female at birth as I should be.

But the reality of reality is that there is but one reality accessible and in this one reality—I am trans. And when God retells my story, all the pain I’ve gone through, all the pain I am currently in, and all the pain that I will face in the future because I am trans, will become a part of something beautiful that need not be excised from my story.

And as this epiphany set my mind aflame with a new hope (shout out to Star Wars!) I saw in my imagination Jesus, his nail-pierced hands on my head, praying for me. Whispering, “It’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay.”

But I cannot feel your presence with me now. Why do you only show up in my mind’s eye?

Why can’t I know your presence, tangibly as you used to let yourself be known when I was a teen?

“Because you already know that what you see in your mind is my communication to you, and you’ve learned to trust the visions and discern my voice. I AM here. Now. With you. My hand on your head to bless you, child.”

It’s going to be okay.

One day, my story will be retold by God. And while these years of living in hiding, unable to begin my transition, is grievous and lonely and painful, they are waiting to be retold so as not to be excised from this present season of my life.

It’s going to be okay. 

It’s going to be okay.

Amen, it’s going to be okay.

 

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