The Squeezings of my Brain Grapes.
I’m Pretty Sure I’m Transgendered, and I Don’t Know What To Do

aacsi asked you:
I am ftm transgender, & I didn’t chose this, It’s something I was born with, probably caused by hormones in the whom. I tried to live in my birth sex, but ended up depressed. I just changed my name, & started living as male, but many christians are telling me that I’m sinning, especially if I change my body. There isn’t anything specific about this in the bible. God doesn’t make mistakes, & dealing with it has made me stronger, but I don’t know what to do, in my heart and brain I am a man.

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey my friend,

Thanks for your note.  I’m sorry you’ve got religious people in your life putting guilt on you.  As you and I both know, that ain’t helping nothing.

Something that Christian sometimes say (and they should, ‘cause it’s true) is that God loves you and accepts you exactly as you are.  In fact, here’s some words from a hymn written hundreds of years ago that says exactly that:

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

The truth, my friend, is that God loves, accepts, and welcomes you right now today, just as you are.  And he wants to pardon, cleanse, and unburden you right now today, just as you are.  But the struggle I often have – and I’m guessing this may be the same for you – is, am I willing to take a hold of that, just as I am, right now, today?

Jesus said that he would never put a heavy burden on us.  That if we were burned out on religion, if we were straight up worn out, we should just come to him, and he’d give us the kind of rest we were looking for.  (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV/MSG)  But, Jesus is a gentleman, and he’s not gonna force anything on us.

The question I would hand back to you is this: are you willing to let God accept you as you are?  God can handle your transgendered status and questions.  But can you handle God being able to roll with you on it?

If I read between the lines on your question, what I hear you describing is a sense of needing to figure out where you stand in regards to your gender, and then, once that’s set, you can figure out where you stand with God.  What I’d suggest to you is to own the fact that you’re not exactly sure where you stand, and you’re not sure where it’s all headed – in terms of your gender identity – and that you’re gonna start building a relationship with God in the midst of that uncertainty. 

It sounds like you’re trying to figure out what God wants from you in this situation, and, I promise, this is what he wants.  For you to just be with him, right now, in this moment, in this season of your life.

Yes, a time will come when the two of you will talk about gender identity and what he wants to see happen with that.  But that isn’t today.  And if you’ll build and cultivate your relationship with your Father today, then it won’t be such a scary thing down the road.

One last thing: I love you.  Seriously.  I believe in you, and I agree with you when you say that God doesn’t make mistakes.  You, my friend, are no mistake.  No matter where things land with your gender, you are not a mistake, or a weirdo, or a freak, or anything else.  You’re a child of the God of the universe, adored by your Father, and ransomed at the cost of Jesus’ blood.  There are great things waiting for you in your life, and I want to see you take a hold of every one of them.  The confusion and uncertainty that you face today is not the last word in your life.  There are great things to come for you – walk with God, and don’t ever, ever quit.

What if they’re all wrong about you?

If you’ve ever had people reject you, read this post.  Hallie brings the heat!!

hbrewer:

Picture, for a second, that you’re five years old.  And you look around at the world, and you wonder, “What kind of person am I?”  It’s a great question, and one that we start asking when we’re little babies, and keep asking most of our lives.

There are key people, of course, that we look to to answer that question, to tell us who we are, and who we should be, to tell us what’s true, right and important.

And, for some of us, we’ve gotten some pretty terrible responses.  Many of the people in our lives – family, friends, relatives, people we’ve dated – have given us a consistent message: we are not what they’re looking for … we are not good enough … we don’t belong. There’s a cut and we – you and I – didn’t make it.

Maybe it’s a sibling making fun of every single thing you’re interested in. Or a significant other breaking up with you because you’re just not enough.  (Or maybe because you’re too much.) Maybe it’s classmates or coworkers tearing down anything about you that they consider ‘different’. Or a parent telling you that if you would just be more like your brother, or sister, or cousin…then you would be okay. Or a friend telling you that you need to act a certain way to get a boyfriend or girlfriend (a way that involves acting like a completely different person).

For some of us - including me - it was all of the above. And after awhile, we don’t even question it anymore.  Why would we?  I mean, with all of these people telling us that there’s something wrong with who we are – well, the common denominator must be… me.

What if they’re all wrong?

Read More

I Can’t Find My Purpose In Life. What Do I Do?

walkingonmypath asked you:
Hi, Jed. I am getting lost with my life. I am a graduate. Can i ask God what job he would assign for me? I have asked him for months, but, he doesnt answer my prayer. The sense of laziness and depression attack me so strong. My peers said God would not answer this kin of question and they deem i am a rare. So, should i wait for his answer?

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey Mandy,

Sis, I’m sorry you’re having a rough time.  For what it’s worth, I know exactly what it’s like to feel totally adrift and purposeless in life.  And it sucks.  Badly.

I think that one of the things that often gets overlooked in the Christian life is that there is a priority to areas of our discipleship.  In other words, we have to deal with some issues before we are prepared to deal with others.

As it turns out, this is exactly what the Bible says.  Both Paul and the author of Hebrews talk about needing to start with milk before we can move onto “solid food” (see 1 Cor  3:1-2 and Heb 5:13-14).  And both James and Paul talk about how growing as a Christian (also known as “sanctification”) is a process where we first master some things and later master others.  Here’s an example:

“There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next.” (Romans 5:3-5, MSG)

See how first we develop patience, and then we develop virtue?  And this makes sense when we think about how growth in Jesus mirrors the way that children grow.  If you had a child, you’d need to help them master tying their shoes before helping them learn how to file their taxes.  Both are necessary at some point, but the sequence of learning matters.

Here’s why this is important.  Before we are prepared to hear God’s answers to certain questions, we need to be rock solid on his answers to more basic, foundational questions.

I hear you describing trying to find your calling.  That is a worthy quest, and I’m proud of you for approaching it diligently.  But, I think it’s worth considering that, before you can figure out your purpose, you need to figure out your identity.

You mentioned struggling with depression.  Mandy, I’m gonna take a wild guess that you struggle with a certain amount of self-loathing.  That you beat up on yourself and tear yourself down.  And, sometimes, you think maybe God agrees with that.

Well, sis, if that’s the case, that self-loathing is what we need to work on first.  The truth, Mandy, is that God is desperately in love with you, exactly as you are today.  He adores you, and that would still be true if you did nothing of any consequence whatsoever with your life.

God loves you not because of the things you can do in the world, but simply because you’re his daughter.  He made you.  You are his.  And he’s crazy about you.

As you begin to take a hold of that reality more fully, you’ll find yourself more able to relax.  And I have a strong suspicion that you’ll be able to hear God way more easily on the subject of calling as a result.

I’m praying for you, sis.  Take some time to work on how you see yourself and how God sees you.  Talk openly with God about this struggle.  Find a spiritual mentor to help you through this process.  I promise that there’s an amazing calling and an incredible life waiting on the other side.

Scott Copeland - You Want Me
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JED NEEDS YOUR HELP TO PROMOTE GOOD, LOUD CHRISTIAN ROCK!!

Hey my friends,

This is a song featuring my good friend Scott Copeland.  The sound is for fans of P.O.D., Trapt, and, really, the Warped Tour generally.

This song was written by my friend Lee Younger and myself, and it has to do with the fear that, if people knew what I was really like, no on would want to be around me.  The amazing thing about being a Christian, is that you discover Jesus knows everything about you, and He *still* loves you, *still* wants you, and is *still* straight up crazy about you!

Now, Scott’s gotten some airplay with this song over the past few months, and he’s actually up for a “New Artist Of The Year” award.  Would you help me and Lee and Scott out by taking 10 seconds to go to this link and select Scott Copeland as your pick for New Artist Of The Year?

Here’s the link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RM3SHHP

Thanks so much, y’all!

Love,

Jed

You Want Me

If any of you knew the things I think about
How dark it is inside my mind
Just rage and fear and doubt

I wake up angry, I fall asleep so sad
And in between I’m guilty
For all the times I’ve been so bad

If everything inside me suddenly was known
You would run away
And I would be alone

If any of you knew the things that I have done
The crimes I have committed
You would turn and run

I’ve broken faith and trust
With those who call me friend
Then I turned around, and I did it all again

I know I’m past hope
I know I’m all used up
‘Cause everyone I’ve ever known someday runs out of love

You say you see the dark and deep
What’s hidden down inside
But Lord you know the secret me
And still you gave your life
It’s so hard to believe
But Jesus, you want me
You want me

If any of you knew the way I feel inside
The secrets I keep locked behind
The smiles that cover lies

I look in the bathroom mirror and only think of how
I am unloved and that makes sense
Cause no one wants me now

People who are special are people who aren’t me
And Jesus, may I ask, do you agree?

You say you see the dark and deep
What’s hidden down inside
But Lord you know the secret me
And still you gave your life
It’s so hard to believe
But Jesus, you want me
You want me