Acceptance

“Do you know how I know you have a problem with alcohol?”
I shook my head.
One of the other group members, a former military guy and admitted alcoholic, spoke up, “Because you didn’t dump it down the sink. Shit, man, that’s a valuable liquid as far as guys like you and me are concerned. We wouldn’t dump liquid gold down the drain.”
It had never occurred to me to dump it down the drain.

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Intervention

He gave me a few simple thoughts on everything he had just learned about me.

“You sit down with Carrie and you don’t end that conversation until she commits to your marriage or commits to a divorce.”

He also gave me some advice about being transgender.

“It is not your responsibility to change the world. When people hear about the level of pain you’ve been experiencing, they will grab the easiest answer they can find in order to distance themselves from your pain. Let them have it.”

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Interlude 4

I finally understood why God led me to that particular Grief Symbol. Just like that weed would always be on the farm, I would always be Trans. The only way to not be Trans would be to kill my heart, which would destroy everything beautiful in my life in the process. I thought about Jesus’ teaching about weeds and wheat, how they grew together and couldn’t be separated without killing everything.

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Truth

There was really only one problem I encountered as I came to grips with how I was made: The Secret. It eroded the ground beneath me. It met me in the gaze that looked back in the mirror. It dunked me in cold water every time a chauvinistic man questioned my manhood in that typical asshole-yet-friendly way North American men talk to each other. It cried out to be acknowledged every time I talked to my LGBT brothers and sisters.

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Folly

I felt the Holy Spirit whisper two words to me: Men’s Ministry.

I didn’t want to do Men’s Ministry. It was the shittiest role in any church in America. Men by and large disliked the church and what we offered them through it. Shit, I hated what we offered them through it… that’s why I had started my ministry outside of any church. We could say four letter words without getting into trouble at The Inner Kingdom. We could watch a movie that showed boobies without anybody getting their panties into a wad. We could sit around fires and talk about deep things without having to use a fucking sports metaphor every goddamn time.

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Interlude 3

Realization dawned on me. If I lost my direction, God’s currents still directed me. If the wind blew its hardest, the water would still hold me. If I sank, I would sink into God’s love. Even if I crashed onto the shore and out of the water, God’s rain would wash me right back into him.

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Slow Poke

Tears welled up, my cheeks flushed with the shame I felt, and my voice cracked with emotion as I told my story, “At the end of this class, I’m going back home to a job I know I’m not supposed to take. It’s outside of God’s will for me. I just couldn’t handle the pressures of the lunch line any more. I couldn’t handle the anxiety over needing to trust God to provide for me and my family.

“I’ve already quit my old job and my new company is waiting for me. The decision is made and now I have to live with the consequences.”

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