Monday, January 30, 2012


Back in the '90s they had bracelets that said WWJD on them--"What Would Jesus Do?" Believe it or not, I don't even think I owned one--maybe you can believe it by some of my little actions and outbursts, but I wore Jesus on my sleeve a lot back then. I was more into talking the talk than I am now. It was more about getting yourself saved than by serving others, in my book. Although, I was raised and made to serve.

I'm glad I'm not the talker anymore. Back then, my child coming out to me being transgender would have been instantaneous, 1 way ticket to the Lake of Fire, or exorcism! Against my Methodist upbringing, I joined a very charismatic church and learned what I call "the other side of the church". Don't get me wrong, I needed it. I learned that works don't get me to heaven, grace does, and that living in the Word makes us stronger in our day to day lives. I probably could have learned that in my denominational church, or my wonderful Young Life groups, but I guess I like to get the hell scared out of me by people who are in my face about it. I did start reading my Bible more because I knew that I didn't want to go to hell! Now that I'm typing this, I can actually see a little bit of oxymoron, because I sometimes didn't feel "Christian enough" there.

Fast forward to circa 2002 or so. We had moved to Seattle in 1999, and Owen had a Sunday school teacher in 2002 who had a lot in common with him. Lynn** is a sports person. She is a woman who is married to a wonderful man, and they are both the epitome of what Jesus stands for. They love to serve and give, and they are admired through their faith by other people. They have left-wing political views (yay!), teach, and preach under the scope of St. Francis of Assisi--"Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words." Not much talk goes on there-but you know where their hearts are. I'm proud to say that Owen and I have gotten to be a part of their family from then on. Because of them, Owen's thoughts of suicide were tampered (to this day, if that was the only thing that they were in his life for, it would have been good enough for me), his faith, although shaky at times, has stayed intact, and my "talking the talk" has eased into quiet contemplation and the true act of WWJD.

Yesterday, the children's ministry at our church told us that they are praying and supportive of Owen's decision to follow his identity and not hide it. They have seen a change in him, and they know that it doesn't change his person. They did let us know that their primary concern is the children, and the children love Owen (they still know him as Marley, and that's how it will be for a while). If parents start to question, they are going to let them know that they are praying for him through this transition, and if they have any concerns, they are to go to the head pastor, who had the final decision. He is truly a man of God, so I'm so happy that he's made this decision.

Sometimes we need other people besides our family to show us what it means to love Jesus. I thank God for all the people that have come in my life. I have been taught many life lessons through them.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Why is it okay for you?

Many years ago, I had a friend named Jim**. He was a music pastor at our church. I had a crush on him for a while, but when I realized that we had a lot of differences, that crush turned into a great friendship. Jim is what I would call a fundamental Christian in many ways. However, he is faithful and truly a man of God.

Unfortunately, I now have very little ties to him. You see, I now understand that in some ways, I was one of a few friends who helped him through a time of loneliness. After trial and error, Jim found a beautiful lady to live his life with. She was everything he wanted in a woman. Pretty, petite, wants kids and is great with them, and also the wife who will bend over backwards for his spoiled ass. Yes, Jim is spoiled. I admire him in the way that he asks and seems to receive. Is that a God thing? Maybe.

You probably wonder what kind of point I'm getting at. Well, Jim has issues with homosexuality. His father, who was once a pastor, is gay. Jim loves his dad, but has trouble with his "lifestyle". Now, understand that he and I talked a lot about that sort of thing, and I didn't agree all the time, but one thing I did was just listen. I listened a lot. I listened to him about what he didn't like about this or that woman he dated, or how he wanted a guitar, but the church wouldn't buy it for him. Boo-EFFING-hoo.

So. When Owen came out last spring about being gender-confused, I sent Jim a message on Facebook regarding this. I said that I really needed my old friend Jim to talk and just hear what he had to say. I got nothing. I haven't heard from him, even after 3 messages. I really wanted to hear from him. But now, I'm mad and disappointed. Mind you, that last message I sent was in summer, but I really needed the advice and ear this time and got nothing!
Knowing him, he doesn't know how to respond, or he'd know he'd hurt my feelings. He would see gender variance right up there with homosexuality. But I'm pissed. I'm pissed because I took a lot of time listening to him talk about things that I now look at as rather unimportant, yet I got nothing back when I needed it.

I wanted to tell him that I would miss all the things that a mother expects for her daughter. I wanted to let him know that when the shoe is on the other foot, that we still love our kids with wild abandon, and just pray to God that He guides us through the transition rather than praying (as Jim would put it) the gay away. I would tell him that no matter what, we sometimes have to let go and let God lead us as parents to letting our child lead their own life. Yet I can't tell him this because he didn't take the time to respond to me and be the friend I NEEDED him to be.
So, I'm writing this because I have held this in for months. It probably doesn't make any sense, but for me, it's because I'm doing a very un-Christian thing in judging a former friend and saying that I don't like his fundamental ways because what he preaches hasn't been practiced to me.

I know for a fact that I'm a lecturer to my son about listening and not expecting anything in return. But when I plea for my friend to reach out to me, and he doesn't, my feelings are very hurt. That's why I don't consider him my friend anymore. He was a friend for a season, and that makes me sad.
What makes me even more sad, is that he would feel that Owen should just live his life as a female and let her work through it with God "in her suffering". Well, I believe that Owen has done a wonderful job in staying faithful and Christ-centered (even though we're both HORRIBLE potty mouths), and why shouldn't Owen be happy with who he is, and let God work with that? After all, I compare it to Jim turning down girls who weren't good enough for him, even though I saw them as women who would really love him. He found someone HE wanted. You see?
I obviously have internalized this for many months. My brain is stuck on self-loathing, I guess. But I'm through with this.
Thanks for the vent.

----So, a few hours after writing this, I'm still awake, but I was watching a wonderful video that I love and makes me ready to sleep (at 3 am, at work at 8 am)! I hope you enjoy. This is how I feel, and this is what Jesus is all about. (If this doesn't show up, because of my illiteracy, check out "Children of God" by Third Day on YouTube.

**Not his real name.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Marley, er Owen

Marley decided that his name was too confusing and androgynous, so a few weeks ago, he decided his name is now Owen. Of course, I think I was the last to know for a while.
I have a feeling, but I hope that I'm wrong, that there may be a problem w/ him working at church. He works with little kids, and now that the head of the Sunday school knows and suspected, she said that she needs to talk to the head pastor, who is brand new, to see how to move forward. I told her that I'd be very happy to come and educate them on this topic, so I hope that they take me up on it. Feeling a bit emotional about it right now. I go to a Methodist church. Methodists are known to reach out to people. I honestly would know that if Owen (why am I having a tough time saying that name?) was told he couldn't teach, his faith would be shaken. He's always felt very accepted here. This is the church he's known since we moved to Seattle in 1999. I've told him many times to keep God in the center of everything he does. I know for a fact that he is surrounded by people who love him, no matter whether they understand or agree with his identity or not. I hope that he focuses on the love of everyone, and not at a possible decision that, in the scheme of things, is minute. I just still hope that it doesn't matter.
Home sick today. Better, but knew I'd get really tired if I went to work. Now my anxiety with this possible decision makes it worse.
Prayers, please.