Life takes us to unexpected places,Love brings us home
I went to church today for the first time in far, far too long. I had planned to attend an Evangelical Covenant Church on the Eastside of the Seattle/Bellevue Washington region. I'd never been to this church but I know the denomination, and I know that in principle, if not in doctrine, the Covenant Church doesn't support people like me. But I was determined to go because the Covenant Church has felt like home more than any other in the past. And I need! a church home!
As Poppa would have it, the Covenant church was a total ghost town when I arrived on time for the service. And as apprehensive as I was going, I was so much more disappointed that I wouldn't be attending a Covenant church for service this morning.
Heading back, I thought about seeing if I had missed the service at a Foursquare church I knew about. My best-ex had recommended it to me. She thought it would be a good place for me. I have my doubts because I don't believe the Foursquare denomination is any happier about me in principle than the Covenant is.
I am looking for a church that is more conservative than not about the Bible and teaches the Bible. I want prayer and praise and gospel songs and choruses. I want to feel free to raise my hands in praise, free to utter my thanks and praise out loud to Poppa.
And I want a church… a church family that welcomes me as I am, follower of Jesus Christ who happens to be a transsexual lesbian.
I don't want much at all.
I didn't really expect any problems entering the church or attending the service. Most folks don't see anyone but an overweight, middle-aged woman with terminally big hair. No one but Poppa seemed to notice. I sat in a pew to the back. I used to be a 2nd-pew person, but it hasn't been that way for sometime. The service started with the praise team leading worship and I felt moved I started to sing and held my hands to God, to Poppa. And my "Momma in Church Moment" as my 2ndDaughter calls it, came in in full force. As usual for me in Poppa's House, I was in tears for most of the rest of the service.
Poppa has always! known who I was, but until _I_ was able to stand before him as who I am… well it didn't seem to count. But standing before my Poppa in His House as I am, as I have always been, just crushes me and I am so very grateful that He loves me for who I am, for who He created me to be.
I must remember to bring a box of tissues with me when I go to church.
The pastor was finishing up a series on 1 John 5, called "Confidence." Today's teaching was from 1 John 5:14-21. I liked his style. He didn't seem full of himself. He used humor and used himself in humor to personalize his message. He got choked up talking about the relationship with his 3 year-old son. I like a human pastor.
I liked his whole message, but the message on verses 14-15, "14 And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him." struck home with me. "Ask Anything!" Particularly at the end of his message when the testimony of how a mom in the church family with a probably brain-dead son, asked God to do His will with her son, take him home or heal him. The boy is healed. I saw him.
And my immediate reaction was, "Why wouldn't He heal me? What was wrong with my prayers? Why wouldn't He heal me of this being a woman in a man's body?"
I prayed all my life for healing!
And when my wife understood what was going on with me, she prayed for my healing!
My 1stDaughter prayed for my healing when she found out her dad wanted to be a woman!
My Son prayed for my healing!
I had the elders in church anoint me with oil and pray over me for my healing!
All this prayer asking according to His will.
And in church today, Poppa gently told me what he has told me time and time and time and time again, there was no "Healing" to be done; I am as He has made me from the Beginning, long before I was knit in my mother's womb.
There was a call to come down to the front of the congregation for personal prayer. I thought about it hard. I wanted a "Man of God" to pray over me and assure me that I am as Poppa intended and plans for me to be. But I wasn't able to take the risk. I should not need the reassurance, but my doubts creep up much too often only to be knocked down by Poppa's gentle love. I had come away from this message with the confidence that, because of all the prayers according to His will, according to His will, I am who Poppa has made me to be.