Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Idea of Community

We saw Phil (counsellor) last night. It was nice to be able to talk to him. He is such a gentle soul. I love that in a counsellor. Sometimes I wonder, though, if I don't give "counsellors" something to hold onto. I am so concerned about "being right" and saying the right things. Am I living them as well? And to that I have no answer. I don't know.

I spoke a bit about Mum last night, and how I used to look at my phone and wonder if I would ever get the time back after talking to her. Horrible thoughts, and things that I regret doing and saying now. It's sad the amount of regret that is present when someone goes. Especially so suddenly.

Sometimes I wonder about the benefit of writing like this. I mean, it's like a trail of bread crumbs that is never followed again. For something like this to work, I would think that it has to be somewhat circular. There has to be a "coming back" to things written, to contemplate and possibly to measure. I don't know. It's times like these that I am aware that I don't know what I am doing. I feel a bit "rudderless" I guess. I don't have any clear direction. And I am a little worried that I might take the wrong direction. Perhaps that's where faith comes into it. Would God seriously let me travel down the wrong path? Good question!

I like the idea of community. I am not sure how long exactly I have liked this idea, but something about it just really resonates within me. Having said that, community is rare. That is my experience. Things about our lives bring us together, and pull us apart. That seems inevitable. What do I like about the concept of community? I think I like the safety that it provides. I like me my safety! Perhaps that is truly a flow-on from me being transexual. I am sure that has something to do with it. Having a condition like that, makes it hard to feel safe. Well, safe and known. I mean I do have some control over being safe ... I just don't be myself. But when I am myself, I am not safe. Not completely safe. And I don't mean that there are physical threats to my well-being at my doorstep. I know I could go looking for it, though. It's out there. I am reminded just this week of the attack that the McDonalds in Baltimore where a TG girl was attacked. It's not safe.

Community somehow means safety for me. Safety in being me. I need to be me. I can't be anyone else. And that's not a preference so much as it is an observation. It is my experience. I know that I can't be someone that I am not. I have tried it, but it never ends well. And the older that I get, the more I realize that. The energy and strength that it takes for me to resist being me is continually rising it would seem. Either that or I am just getting tired.

Mum is gone, but not forgotten

So it's Wednesday, and it's about 10 days since Mum's service, and over 2 weeks since she passed away. I really don't know what to think to be honest, or how to feel. I feel like I want to "get a better hold" of my thoughts and feelings. My thoughts ramble ... I wish that I could capture them better. Maybe this might work.

Hebrews 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.

I wish I knew what to think. Mum's passing was so sudden. My mind is struggling with the idea that this was her time, and also thinking that she was too young to go, and should still be here.
The night after her service, or actually early the next morning, I awoke and found that a part of my pillow was damp. I felt my face and wondered had I been crying, or dribbling. There was no moisture on my face at all. I got up and went to the toilet. As I was returning to my bed, I glanced at the clock on the microwave and the time was 4:12am. April 12 was the day that Mum had passed from this world. I returned to bed and thought about this, and wondered had Mum somehow come to me in my sleep? Was she crying for me, knowing and possibly finally getting who I am?

Am I lacking peace about this, about Mum's death? I have cried for her, and I get that I am sure there will be more tears for her. How could there not be? And that thought doesn't worry me. I expect that to be the case. That said, I don't understand what has happened. I can't find peace about it. I know that she is with God, and that makes sense. I know that she is truly in a better place, and that also makes sense. It just hurts. And I feel sad. I feel loss. My heart is heavy. That is what I am feeling.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Readiness to Hear - Part II

So, as I have been digesting this message, wondering what it means for me exactly, I have been inspired to ask myself a question. Actually it came out of a prayer that I prayed. The prayer went like this: “Dear Lord, please help me to see people as you see them, so that I can in turn love them in the same way that you have loved me.”

And when I prayed that prayer I began to think about looking upon someone in “love”, in a “loving” way and what that would look like or feel like. And that’s when I began to think about Giselle, and how I can look at her and truly feel love towards her. I can literally feel my love for her, and know that I would readily give all areas of my life for her, and to her. And I wondered, having known how difficult it was in the past to experience that ‘connection’, why I could so easily experience that with her. And it dawned on me, immediately, that it’s because I know that I can literally be at rest with her. She sees all parts of me, and there is neither nothing that I want to hide, or feel guilty about with her. She accepts me. And in that acceptance, I can feel those areas within me, that were previously in darkness because of my fears and anxieties, begin to just ‘melt away’, to come into the light of her love for me. I feel no guile with her, even though I know that it hasn’t been removed by her, I don’t feel it towards her, because I feel the full sense of her acceptance towards me.

I realized that is what it means to feel love towards someone. And it is because of acceptance from the other person. So to truly experience the Love Commandment (John 13:34-35) as a community, we must first start to extend acceptance and love towards each other. And I believe that “acceptance” is in itself creative. And what I mean is, that I believe that God causes it to begin growing where He desires. As we show acceptance to others, it breeds within them a similar acceptance. And as we begin to accept one another, not wanting to change that person, we begin to start loving each other as God has loved us.

"Be still and know that I am God", is what He said. And John also said "God is Love", so we can rephrase that by saying:

"Be still and know that I am Love".

Or in other words:

"Experience my love by first being still, stop your striving to be something different, to change yourself, to try to be better. And when you have found that place, THEN I will deliver you. I will fashion you to be pleasing in my eye, not because I think you need to be changed before I can love you, but because I love you and want the very BEST for you. And then you will experience my Love. You will experience the Love that I have towards you. Be still. I love you."

It is when we are courageous enough to stand still before our Loving God and not try to change, that He can then truly begin to change us. And it is at that point, as a community of people loved by Him, that we can begin to truly feel His Love for us through each other.

A Readiness to Hear

It wasn’t until I entered into a relationship with Giselle, that I knew what it meant to know and feel and experience love. And it’s taken me a while to rest into this relationship as well.

Some eighteen years ago, when I started to attend a certain church in Brisbane, I was introduced to a message by a man named Leonard Evans. The name of that message was called the “Love Commandment”. I remember listening to this message a few times, and felt that it somehow gave me a perspective of God that helped me to journey through some of the times ahead. I remember feeling the “safety” of this message as I went through Bible College at a College that was “radical” in its teachings of the Holy Spirit. And when I say radical, I mean radical for me. After all, I can only talk of the context within which I found myself.

I suppose in an ironic sense, back in those times, I don’t ever believe that I truly digested everything fully in that message. (And neither did the church that I was attending either. It seemed that people were content with just a vaguely familiar understanding as opposed to a deep context of experience) Neither did I put it totally into practice in my life. In fact, I think I only knew it in my head, and really felt little of it through my experience. It’s not that I wanted it to be that way, but it was more like just “one of those things I was going to do one day”. One day I would allow myself to be changed by this message, by what God was saying to me through this message. One day was easy. It was enough for me at that time, though, to just think upon that message as a “break glass” kind of message. The church that I attended at the time was Pentecostal. And sometimes I would see “things” that kinda troubled me, or confused me. Other times I saw things that I just really didn’t like. And just like a little security blanket, I would go back to that message in my mind, and know that everything was going to be okay. I guess it was a grounding for me; an anchor or a keel.

Through the years, that same message, possibly a seed, was something that I went back to from time to time. It was something that helped me understand I guess who God was. Fast forward many years to last week, and I found myself, for reasons I can only attribute to God. Who can say why memories that have been buried for years surface again? It’s at those times, that I sit quietly and wonder if there isn’t something that I should be seeing or hearing, a message from God.

So that message jumped into my conscious last week. I remembered his name. So I googled him and didn’t find much. Then I googled again, and found something more. After a little digging, I came across the original recordings of the messages that Len Evans gave in Australia way back in 1977. So I have been listening to those messages, and letting them go further in than they ever did before.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Place of No Choices

I sometimes wonder 'what's a good reason to share my story?' Especially if it feels somewhat like a story of failure, or brokeness, or incompleteness. And when I say that, I don't mean completely. For the most part, I am incredibly happy. I have someone in my life that sees me as I feel like I really am and for the first time in my life, that is incredible.

I am truly figuring this all out as I go along. I have made my share of mistakes. Sometimes I think it's more than my share, but who's counting? When searching for answers, we look until we either find the right answer, or simply exhaust all the wrong ones. I'm out of trying answers to "solve this condition" that I suffer from. I honestly don't see any answers that I haven't honestly tried in some form or another. And then there's not just me, there are others who share my journey. And they have tried their share of answers as well ... to no avail.

When faced with a situation where there is truly no choice, and no way forward, what do we do? I can liken my experience to that of a roller coaster: the rides in progress, and there is no getting off until it's done. I know that sounds fatalistic, but to me it's more about acceptance. I have come to accept this journey that I am on. I don't always like it. I wouldn't have chosen this path for myself. Not in a million years. It's far too hurtful and destructive.

Coming out of Egypt, and hemmed in on every side with the Red Sea the only way forward, which in the moment, seemed like no way forward at all, Israel faced a situation where there was no choice. There was no palatable choice. And to be honest, I am sure they wondered how they even had got there ... they seemed to say a lot 'we've been brought out of egypt for this??'

And yet, the way forward for them, when it finally arrived, when their focus was finally on the large body of water before them, was to move into something that was "wrong". It was wrong except that God had said that it was right. It went beyond what was normal, and beyond what was safe. It was a place of "No choices".

And that's where I am at ... after many years, and countless attempts to avoid this course, this way forward, I realise that the 'body of water' that seemed impossible, and incredibly uninviting, is my way forward. And through that passage, somehow, I am hoping to find a 'baptism' into something new.

My God will hear me" (Micah 7:7).