I have begun to give ... begin to possess. Deut 2:31
What could God be possibly giving to me, that I am to possess? And as I think about that, it's interesting that it is more than just "receive". It is possess. I think other translations talk about conquering. Funny words "conquer" and "possess". I have to admit I don't really relate to either of those concepts. Especially in relation to other people. But I don't think God is really talking to me here about "other people".
When I think about my relationship with God at this very moment, the thoughts that come to me are around prayer. What does it mean to me? How am I meant to pray? And also what does fellowship with God mean as well? What is my relationship with God really like? I admit there are aspects of that relationship that I want to improve. I want to be more spiritual. I think I was once more spiritual than I am now. It's a balancing act though. In the days past when I was happy with my spiritual journey I didn't fully appreciate what it means to be authentic. I had no idea how to be authentic. Not really. My idea of being authentic back then was connecting to the "image" and "perception" that everyone else had of me - I was born male. I was married. I had 3 boys of which I was their dad.
Not that it means much to me now, but I come from a Baptist background. Southern Baptist to be precise. We met every sunday for church. We sang from a hymnal. Yes, I still love those old hymns. One of my favourites is "Great is thy faithfulness". I love the line in that song "Morning by morning new mercies I see". It was years later that I realised those words were pretty much taken directly from the Bible. Lamentations 3. And it was also years later that I was to discover that God would keep leading me back to that passage.
My loose paraphrase of that passage would look something like this:
Because of the Lords great Love we are not consumed, because his compassion (or mercy) never fails. They are new every morning. His mercy is boundless. And beyond that it is renewed every morning. Great is God's faithfulness to me. He really is everything that I need. He really is my Portion.
If I fail, and sin, his compassion is boundless and his mercy is renewed. If I feel like I am being consumed by life, by difficulties, by conditions, His Love will make sure that I am not completely consumed. He will look after me. If there is something that I need or want, whatever that may be, I will find its answer in Him because He has become to me my portion for all things. I need finances, and He provides somehow. I need healing and again it is Him that provides.
I am transgendered. I have recently had gender reassignment surgery. To be frankly honest, there were times when I would have rather taken my own life than considered this path that I have taken. I wanted to serve God. I wanted to be spiritual. I wanted to transcend the difficulties of my life and be lifted above them somehow. Instead God had me go through it. He paved the pathway through this "red sea" of mine. I know it was him. He gave me the "way through". I had to travel that path. That is where I took possession of what He had given to me.
I just turned 45 and I have to be honest I love my life right now. I love who I am. I love who I am becoming. I finally feel connected to "the person that I believe I was created to be". It's off the trail so to speak though. It's not for everyone either. But then that's how God works. Peter asked Jesus about John, and what would happen to him. Jesus replied, "Peter it's really none of your business what my relationship with John looks like and what I journey I have in store for him."
That's one of the reasons why I believe it is imperative that we don't judge ... it leads us to draw conclusions that we are all on the exact same journey when we are not.
What is God beginning to give to me? Authenticity. Being who I am. Without that, prayer doesn't make sense. So being authentic is what God is giving to me, and what I am beginning to possess.