Monday, February 11, 2013
What will you give up?
I was listening to an interview this past week and one phrase stuck out for me. "What will you give up?"
For most of us the idea of giving something up that means a lot to us challenges us and can bring quite a bit of conflict to our humanness. What happens when this something is particularly engrained in us and something we think cannot be given up?
As I drove to work today, I was pondering life and the complexities of it. I am amazed at what God has done in the areas of my life that I have given over to him. Some out of obedience and some with kicking and screaming while others were easy to give up out of a love relationship with an eternal Father.
Today, I got thinking of my gender and my worth as a man. What came to me was this thought..."Kenny, you could have changed your body with hormones and surgery, but you cannot change the composition of your DNA...the blueprint of how God made you, unique and fully male!" Maybe with science and the way things are headed we can manipulate and change things around by a human perspective...focusing on being creator rather than acknowledging that we are created beings...designed by God for His glory.
I look at my hands, my features and other bodily parts and recognize the masculine traits on the outside, but what about the ones on the inside that fought with the outward expression. I couldn't stop the formation of hair on my chest, or the sharpness of my jaw, the thickening of my torso, the shape of my being was in conflict with my inner self that cried out for the softness of the feminine. I began to hate how I was created rather than be in awe of how I was created.
When God profoundly spoke to me in 2005 and called me out of my Egypt into the wilderness, I knew it was about giving up. It was to give up control of my life and how I had created and worshiped my life. It was no longer me that was in charge but God who knows infinitely more than I do and who cares for me with deep compassion.
I had to give up the notion that I was gay and I had to give up the notion that I could have a sex change. These things were deeply ingrained in me for years. I remember vividly a time when my mom after catching me wear her clothes say "they have operations for that!" She doesn't remember saying it and I think it was said mostly out of the fear of the unknown, yet it penetrated in my being and this nagging sense of insecurity reared it's head. It stuck with me. This idea of what if.
Yet, I looked in the mirror and saw something very male. I watched every talk show that was geared toward transsexualism and I was fascinated by what I saw and heard. Could it be that I could do it too?
But what I began to witness was the manipulation of the body to conform to the minds thoughts. Essentially, I saw men in women's clothing. I saw the effects of what female hormones could do, yet, the movement, the bone structures, the work it would be to transform felt like a lie to me. It wasn't negating the deep feelings inside or the turmoil, yet, it seemed to me that there was something else that played a factor. Could it be the environment and behavioral structures of their early years played a factor? I had to examine mine.
In doing this examination, I had to give up the notion that my environment had nothing to do with my struggle and disorded sense of gender. I had to realize that how I was parented and my own interpretations of events were part of the factors of my development. I had to give up and see God at work in and through my life as a man. The complexities of the journey given over to Him so He can help navigate and direct my steps toward health in all areas of my life.
Giving up...ya, I've had to give up a lot. I don't regret any of it, nor would I wish my life to be something else. Truth be told, God is constantly revealing things in me that I need to give up...and in giving up, I receive so much more than what I could imagine. He fills me with joy, peace, love and gives me good things to replace the stuff that is tarnished, old and broken down. I won't say it's easy and it won't hurt. On the contrary, it usually does and quite a bit actually. But what comes out of the ashes of pain is often a beautiful aroma of praise.
So, what are you giving up? What is God asking you to give over to Him?