For a long time leading up to and after my transition, I wanted nothing more than to forget my past. I wanted nothing more than to go stealth, to forget my previous life pretending to be something I wasn't.
But, as usual, God had other plans for me.
He wasn't going to let me hide. He wasn't going to let all the work he had done on me hide is more like it. For each of us, through the good, the bad and the down right hideous times in our lives, God is working. Every experience, every trial, every joy, are bricks that are offered for us to build our life on. How we use those bricks is up to us.
I have had the opportunity in the last few months to really reflect on the events that shaped how I see God and how I see my walk with Him. I set a milestone on that path on Sunday May 20th by being baptized. It was an extremely moving and emotional time for me and I get a bit choked up even now thinking back about how I, for the first time, really stood before a group of people, Christian or not, and professed what I truly believe. The few weeks running up to that day, I spent hours working on my testimony and listening to God about what he really wanted me to say. I only finished working on it just hours before the Sunday service. I spent hours upon hours reading, rewriting, reading it some more. As I wrote, my thoughts naturally turned to the past God had given me.
I thought about how I grew up. All my life, my parents have done a pretty good job of laying a foundation of Biblical principles for me and my brother to live by. God would see it as no coincidence that through my dad I was surrounded by men and women devoted to sharing God’s word through the radio. My mind went of the days of roaming around the halls of WMBI in Chicago where my dad worked for many years. There were countless times I was in the studio with the likes of Radio Pastor Don Cole, Bob Murfin, Chris Fabry and Flo Schmidt. I am thankful for my opportunities to be on-air with Godly people like Ron Hutchcraft.
As my mind drifted, I looked back at my time at Wheaton Central High School, a time where I so on fire for Christ. Many school mornings you would find me sitting on the floor by my locker doing my devotions. Nearly every chance I got, I used scripture in the English papers I had to write. Several of my Christian friends told me that they didn't have the guts to carry their Bible with them to class like I did.
I remembered the time a friend called me from college because she wanted me to be the first to know that she accepted Christ as her personal savior and that I had had a huge impact on her during high school.
I reflected on the times that depression had gripped me so tightly that the thought of suicide was a constant companion.
I thought back to the memories of the deaths of two good friends.
YEARS of asking God why I was born the way I was.
I turned to the thoughts of when I turned away from God. I turned to an unbelieving faith.
I remembered the moment that it all turned around for me.
I had struggled for a long time about why God had allowed me to be transgender, how my years were filled with doubt, fear, and loneliness. It wasn’t until God put a woman in my life that told me to stop asking God ‘why’ and start asking God ‘how’. How can God be glorified through everything I have been through? She reminded me that God knows the path he has chosen for me. It is up to me to follow him on that path. He is a light unto our feet. All we need to do is to follow that light. I may choose my steps I take each day, but it is God who has set out a detailed road.
In recent months I felt God’s prodding to go further with my faith than I have ever before. He needs me to put my trust in Him, when he closes one door, he has other opportunities waiting for me. He is calling me to be bold in what I believe, be strong with my trust in Christ, to show love like I have never done before. Ever since I made the decision to be baptized, I have had a boldness I have rarely known. I never want this feeling to subside. I want to continue to grow, build on what God has done for me, and follow even closer. I want the boldness to share what God has done for me and what he can do for you. I want to be a woman after God’s own heart.
"Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long."