Clarity

Disclaimer: This is truly a rambling from my brain. I felt like I should write, so I sat down to write.

Back in December I wrote a blog called “Stepping Into the Unknown.” That blog was a sort of proclamation of what God has been talking to me about for a very long time. Before I go any further, I guess I’m going to go ahead and announce to those that read my blog what it is. I feel as though God has been telling me to move to Pennsylvania. It’s still incredibly vague right now, because that’s literally all I know. Here’s a little list of everything tiny little thing in God has used to tell me this in chronological order:

  1. I started looking into the Tourism and Hospitality program at Temple University which is in Philadelphia
  2. My sister and her husband moved to Pittsburgh (now they’re in Erie.)
  3. My best friend, Emily, got based in Philly for her job.
  4. I visited Emily in Philly and kind of fell in love with the city. (At this point I thought moving to PA would just be a selfish thing to be near people I love.)
  5. Becca tell’s me (without knowing ANY of these things) that I should move to Pennsylvania.
  6. My mom tells me I should move to Pennsylvania to be near my sister (without knowing PA was already in my head, or what Becca had said. I told mom what Becca told me after the fact.)

ALL SIX of these things happened within basically a 6 month time span. I started looking into Temple around December 2017 and by July 2018 my mom had told me I should think about moving to PA. By this point, I had an inkling that maybe God was behind it all, but basically pushed it aside. It would pop into my head every now and then both on its own and from Becca or mom saying something about it, but I still thought of it as just a silly idea. I kept going back and forth about it. Yeah, it’d be cool to be close to my sister, Emily, and Becca (and all of my other PA friends! I haven’t forgotten about you!), but I have a good life here in Springfield. I have two jobs that I like. I have an affordable apartment that I enjoy living in. I have a great group of friends that support me, and most importantly I have a church home where I’ve felt more connected to both God and the people than ever! I’m comfortable! I specifically remember Becca texting me on a Sunday probably in September telling me again that I should move and I sent her back a photo of Dylan preaching with a caption that said, “but I don’t want to leave these people.” And that’s exactly what God used that Sunday in November.

If you read my last blog (I highly encourage you to do so before finishing this one. I also apologize if I repeat anything now that I said in the last one), then you’d know that there was a specific Sunday morning in which God wrecked me. Pastor Dylan made an announcement that hit me like a brick. All I remember thinking was, “Hey, if Dylan can follow a call on his life that takes him out of his comfort zone, why can’t you?” That’s the moment I knew for sure that God was calling me to Pennsylvania. Everything leading up to that moment was all Him talking and me ignoring it because I was comfortable.

In the three-ish months since that Sunday, I’ve gone through so many emotions. I felt so loved and supported by my life group ladies when I asked them to pray about it for me. When I met and talked with Pastor Selena about it, I got so much reassurance that whatever is going to happen in the next year is going to be incredible! One Sunday while Sherri cried during closing worship, I laughed because I could hear God talking to me so clearly! Every single sermon I have heard since, whether it be Dylan, Selena, or Brandon, has felt like it was directly spoken to me and my situation. Some days I’m pumped to see what God has to come, and other days I’m scare out of my mind because I have no idea was His full plan is. I’m excited for what’s to come, but sad to leave behind the family I have here.

Aside from every emotion possible, God has also revealed to me other times He hinted at me. The first one He showed me was back in the Fall of 2017 during a night of prayer and The Well He told me to be bold. I didn’t know at the time what that meant, but now I know it had to do with bigger plans. Then more recently I recalled my East Lakes’ team visit to Erie. We were sleeping on couches in the church, so we had free time at night. I have no idea what the rest of the team was up to, but I vividly remember feeling the Holy Spirit in that place. I sat cross-legged at the foot of the cross in the sanctuary wearing PJs with my pink plaid blanket wrapped around my shoulders, weeping. I had no idea why I was crying, but it was so intense that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. The only time I’ve ever wept in that way is when the spirit is present. I truly believe that moment in the church in Erie is somehow related to what God is preparing me for now.

Only time and God will tell what the next year holds for me, but I know its big! The only other time I felt a call so clear was when I chose to do a second year of Captive Free, but this feels bigger. It feels 100% more terrifying, and that’s how I know its gonna be good!

“Standing on the edge of running away,
Being pulled this way that way,
Do I leave or stay?
You told me to go and this much I know,
Gotta give it all,
I’m going all in.
No more escape I’ll finish the race,
I’m giving You everything,
I’m going all in.
I’m giving You the key to steal my heart,
The end of me is where the journey starts,
You told me to go and this much I know,
Gotta give it all,
I’m going all in.
No more escape I’ll finish the race,
I’m giving You everything,
I’m going all in.” –All In by Bread of Stone
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Pink vs. Blue: Which Restroom Should I Use?

Recently there’s been a lot of controversy as to which restroom trans people should use. There are really only two sides to this argument. One being that people should use the restroom of the gender they were anatomically born as; the other being that they should use the restroom of the gender that they identify as. I’m on the third side of this argument. Yes, I meant to say third. Let me explain why.

In my opinion, there’s really no sense in having separate restrooms for males and females. With the exception of urinals in the men’s room, when you walk into a public restroom you don’t see people taking a leak out in the open. Each toilet is in its own private stall with a locking door. So why in the world do we need our own gender specific bathrooms? I’ve come up with a couple of reasons I can think of.

  1. Men don’t want to wait for women- I get it. There’s often a line for the women’s room, and men don’t have this problem. There have been many times when I’ve felt the urge to just use the men’s room so that I didn’t have to wait in a line, and I have no reservations using the men’s room if they’re the single bathrooms like what you often find at gas stations. (Single bathrooms being gender specific is just ridiculous anyway!)
    Solution: There could be urinal stalls. Women can’t use urinals anyway, so the men are set if they just have to pee, but really they could just have some patience.
  2. Sexual predators- It seems like a lot of people think that all men turn into sexual predators when they walk into a woman’s restroom. It’s a bit of an exaggeration, but apparently it’s a real concern of some people.
    Solution: A solution is not needed. The idea that this would be an issue is absurd! Do these people not realize that sexual predators exist outside of public restrooms? Do they not realize that this could happen without the mixing of genders?
  3. Women want their privacy- We all know that women go to the bathroom in groups. If you didn’t know, it’s often to gossip about men. If there are men and women in the same bathroom, us women won’t be able to gossip. Another way that women, and probably men too, like privacy is that we don’t like to take a dump with the other gender, or really anyone, around.
    Solution: Get over it!

What I’m really saying here is that if we eliminate gender specific restrooms, which serve no purpose other than segregation, then we eliminate the controversy over which bathroom trans people should use. Yes, I know it won’t happen overnight, but new establishments could, and should, adopt the idea of a co-ed restroom situation. Sure it’ll also create controversy at first, but eventually people will get over it and it’ll be the norm!

Side note: If you’re curious about my actual stance, I believe that people should use the restroom of the gender that they identify as.