Thursday, November 5, 2009

What I Believe

In 1995, I had come to the understanding that I needed to live as a woman. With a nod to the movie Rudy, I had done everything I knew to do to have my true nature go away. I've prayed, I've had elders anoint me with oil and lay hands on me. I prayed for death. And still my nature, who I was then and now, was with me. Going against my nature just wasn't possible. Paul would talk of his thorn in his flesh and struggled against it. I am not Paul. But I had to find my way to understanding how I could still be in God's grace. What follows is what I came to, piece by piece.

What I Believe

Part of moving to a spiritual and emotional peace for me is looking at the Scripture and trying to understand what God is trying to say to me. I try not to make the Word jump through too many hoops. I was born, raised and confirmed a Missouri Synod Lutheran and I highly respect God's Word. This is what I base my faith on:

· Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior,

· I am a sinner in need of Jesus' Love and Intercession,

· the Bible is the Holy Word of God and, when properly understood, contains the answers to a lot of the questions in my life,

· The Apostle's Creed,

· The Nicene Creed,

· Luther's Small Catechism, and

· most importantly, Jesus Loves Me.

Male And Female

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (New King James Version)

In my prayers and meditations, I was drawn to this simple passage. I had an idea what this passage meant. It is often quoted at homosexual people as if to say, "God made you a man and not a woman!" or "God made you a woman and not a man!" I wasn't able to read that here. So I asked an LCMS pastor what the Hebrew underneath the English said. He told me that the Hebrew translated clearly to the English with the exception of the word "them." He explained that Hebrew does not have a word for "them", but that the Hebrew here indicated an single object that was a plural. "Them" is as close as the English gets. Still confused about how this passage was being used and what it really meant, I asked an English professor how the sentence would diagram. She told me that the subject of the sentence is "He", the verb is "made" and the object is "them." "He made them." She then told me that the phrase "male and female" was an adjective phrase modifying "them." "He made them male and female." But the key word or concept in this part of the passage is "them", a singular object of plural value. However God made "them", whatever He did, He did to both elements of "them." Syntactically, there is no difference between the sentence, "male and female He made them." and speaking of zebras, "Black and white He made them." Ok, so explain it to me like I was a 6 year-old. Literally, God made each person some part male and some part female.

In His Image?

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (New King James Version)

Does the idea of man, created some part male and some part female, fit with the "Image of God?"

Clearly, God is the image of a masculine Father. He is perfect Justice and justice is masculine. But He is also perfect Love and love is feminine. As Christ said to Jerusalem, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" Matthew 23:37.

The Image of God, being both male and female, fits with the biology that is seen in His creation. There are children born with genitals of both sexes, children born without genitals of either sex, some boys are born with out the ability to use the male hormones in their bodies to become men and the bodies of some girls overuse any androgens in their system and are very masculine. These children all have been born "male and female." These children are not abominations from the womb!

But I feel there is a better argument for understanding God's Image as fully male and fully female. If the Father were only fully male, then the Son would be only fully male. And if the Son were only fully male, then women would not have a Comforter who understands their temptations or a Savior who died for their sins.


John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (New King James Version)

The Word plainly states that any person who believes in what the Son has done for him is saved, saved forever. It does not state that only white, Anglo-Saxon, American, protestant straight married people are saved. It simply, very simply, states "whosoever..."

I believe in Jesus Christ, only begotten Son of God, is the Savior of my soul. He is my savior!

Closer To God

I have come to a point in my life where I have done all that I know how to do to be the "man God wants me to be." I have tried for so very long to make myself right before the Lord. Now... now I humbly confess to my Father that this is who I am. I cannot hide who I am and I cannot change it. For maybe the first time in my life I have surrendered to God and I pray that He has a use for me. I feel closer to Him than I ever have in my life. I have told Him the thing I most wanted to keep from Him and ya know what? He still loves me and will not cast me out!

For What Purpose?

John 9:1-3
1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3 Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. (New King James Version)

I do not know how being the way I am fits the Lord's plans. I only know that I am created by God in love, loved by Jesus unto death, sanctified by the Holy Spirit for the joy and the glory of the Lord. And I believe that I am the way I am, that I am who I am, so that God can show His Glory, show His Power, and show His Love.

My Walk From Here

So where do I go from here? I feel guided by two passages. I have to put my faith in God and in His word.

Phillipians 2:12
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; (New King James Version)


Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (New King James Version)


  1. Awesome post Shannon! Very insightful. Missed you on Wednesday!

  2. I've noticed how I've felt closer to God since coming out to everyone and feeling more at peace. I think it is because accepting who we truly are, is a spiritual enlightenment all by itself which automatically opens up more to God's presence and love.

    Great post all around Shannon!

  3. Wow! You're right- this is really in sync with the post I put up this morning!

    I was also raised LCMS. I recently went back and visited the church I grew up in. The people there haven't changed. And I know the viewpoints haven't changed. I felt a very different presence of God- God as they needed God to be. But not the joy and love and praise and acceptance that I need God to be.

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts, Shannon!

  4. I started to write a response and it turned into a blog. It's nice to meet another midlife transitioner. Reconciling faith and being trans is no easy task.