Facing my Gender Identity

For the majority of my life I have been at odds with my femininity.  Yes, physically there is no denying I am a woman; yet felt and thought more like a man.   Sub-consciously I felt trapped; and harbored tremendous amounts of self-loathing for being born a woman.   In June of 2010 I began to read, study, mediate, and grapple with Psalms 139.   The following verses from the passage have deeply spoken to me and I have combined the New Living Translation and Message.

Psalms 139

1 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you and know everything about me.

5 I look behind me and you’re there, and then up ahead and you’re there, too.  You place your hand of blessing on my head.

13 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed/knit me in my mother’s womb.

   14 Thank you for making me wonderfully complex!  Body and soul I am marvelously made!

     15   You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body;
You, know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,  how I was sculpted from nothing into something.

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

      16 Every day of my life was recorded in your book.  You watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you.

From the first reading of this passage my response was anything but joy and gratitude.  I stirred by two emotions anger and doubt.  I was angry at the thought that God intentionally created me as a woman and doubtful that He had been an active presence in my life since childhood.  Waves of questions and confusion overwhelmed me.  If God was present then why did those terrible things happen to me?   How could God  have intentionally created me a woman and then left me feeling like a man and attracted to other women.   It was during this time frame that my way was paid to attend and http://exodusinternational.org/ Freedom Conference.  I went with grave reservations; for years I had protested, demonstrated and spoke out against Exodus and here I was attending one of their conferences.  This was extremely uncomfortable for me.

I had a great amount of resistance from the get go.  There was no way that I was going to let these ex-gay freaks pray the gay away or convince me I was no longer gay.   To my own surprise neither of these two things happened over the course of three days.  Instead from the first general session every keynote speaker spoke on or heavily referenced Psalms 139, not only in the main sessions but in the workshops that I attended as well.  It was as if the whole conference was hand designed for me.

What did occur was my belief system was challenged.  I discovered that it was paramount as a Christian that I discover my new identity in Christ and who God had designed me to be.  The delightful,   Dr. Kathy Koch http://www.celebratekids.com/  shared two statements that set the tone for the rest of my Exodus experience. They were “God chose me to be who I am, as I am when He made me.”   “Be, Believe, Become all God meant you to be.”  Thank you Dr. Koch for those inspirational words you will never know how life changing they were for me.

Next came, these words from Christine Sneeringer founder of Worthy Creations http://www.worthycreations.org/  as she spoke on how God formed us with intention and read Psalms 139:13-3 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed/knit me in my mother’s womb.  She shared that knitting is an intentional action with a pattern and design in mind.  That flew in my face, and provoked the next nine months of study, meditation and prayer over Psalms 139.

My initial reaction was filled with cynicism “so God intended me to be a woman.  Give me a break.”  I viewed these words from verse 14 “I fearfully, marvelously and wonderfully made you.” As a bunch of crap; so as a Christian, I am suppose to feel all warm and fuzzy now and embrace my womanhood.  NOT!

Yes, as you can see I was an eager participant in this process and teachable too!

Yet I was inwardly driven to this passage and haunted by the two things I took away from Exodus.  So I committed my quit times to Psalms 139 for the next several months; with two key objectives to settle for myself the issues I had with being created a woman and to prove once and for all that God not only created me gay but was OK with it.  In the next few posts I will reveal the outcome of this undertaking.  It has been a very personal and healing journey for me.

Please feel free to contribute to this discussion your thoughts are always welcomed.

~ by hopespassage on February 5, 2012.

9 Responses to “Facing my Gender Identity”

  1. Hope, for years I lived in rebellion and anger because God made men and if He just did’nt give them the disire for sex the world would be better. I often wished I had been born an Amazon woman living with women only as I hated them that much. In my perception of my world I feared men and the message I received was women were nothing but a womb females are to be abused used and hit and they are just trash and they have to clean cook and pick up his dirty socks and he is allowed to sit at the pub all night drinking.
    Then when I became a Christian I struggled that there was Father Son and Holy Spirit all in the masculine and then the twelve disciples all male and the twelve elders all male. Talk about bring up stuff!!!
    I have since been changed so much (16yrs) that can love men and accept them – not to want to marry I like my freedom my furniture and individuality and I am 50 and too independant.
    I have been healed so much and now scripturally understand The Father/masculine truth and I am happy about those truths, anyway I just thought I would share a little of my past with you, and to thankyou for writing what you write.
    I look forward to your next post
    Love Kathleen

  2. I love this post and the response from Kathleen. As a Roman Catholic Woman/Mom I too often felt as if the only thing that the Church valued of mine was my uterus.

    I came from a very traditional Irish Catholic home, where dad read the bible to the women in the house because we were to “soft” to understand it ourselves, can you imagine.

    Women were viewed as my father “thought” the church viewed women, as somehow slaves, or baby makers with no mind of their own. It is a view that is not shared by the Church, at least not entirely.

    As I grew began to date and finally married I found that there are good Godly men who do not view women as next to nothing. In my husband’s house women were seen as equals and through that I learned that Jesus viewed women as equals, even had women in keys roles of ministry and not just to serve: as I had been taught. As my hubby and I had children I STRUGGLED with my past and what I had learned about God, faith, womanhood and motherhood, in all of that I came to learn that God made me a strong woman, with purpose and talents. He did not want me to not use what he had given me for all my gifts were to help all those in my life; I just had to prioritize them so my life, my callings were in balance: not an easy task.

    I have spent my life trying to discern and follow God’s call in my life, first as mother, than as a social worker working with women in crisis and then as a spiritual director working with women who feel no place in life and as a result have a huge crisis of faith.

    The moms I work with are half a person because they do not understand how much their womanhood is special, we are co-creators with God when we bring life into the world. We were baptized Priest = Nurturer, Prophet = Teacher and Queen = Ruler, why would God entrust such things to us if were not of worth! i understand this because it was a process I had to go through myself!

    In Jewish Talmudic tradition God took a rib from Adam not to make a slave but a help mate that was so close to him that he was part of him. What a beautiful way of seeing it.

    Just in case it will help you understand my story here is my ministry page http://spirituallivesofwomen.me/

    • In Jewish Talmudic tradition God took a rib from Adam not to make a slave but a help mate that was so close to him that he was part of him. What a beautiful way of seeing it.

      Patty, Love the above statement. I have really not come to terms as to the role of women in our church. However, I have discovered that men and women are created to be complimentary to each other. we so often either degrade, dominate and compete with others. This was not God’s intention for our lives.

      Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. i look forward to more. thank you for sharing.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It helps me.

  5. Thank you, Hope, for sharing your story! It is a powerful message of “hope” for many who are struggling. You are loved and valued as a woman of God!!

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