I’ve been sort of restless since my last post, and the events leading up to it.
I’ve also been spending a lot of time in my bible between my discipleship group and, well…digging for answers.
I found Hebrew and Greek words. I found root meanings. I found Paul in Acts, demanding that the people who threw him in jail come to him and escort him out. He wasn’t satisfied to go quietly. Our discipleship group discussed this as well. Paul wasn’t just standing up for his rights; he was setting a precedent for those who came behind him. It didn’t look sterile and Christian in the terms that we’ve been taught to think of it in recent years; it looked a lot like rocking a boat that could have gone to shore with very little ripple.
But that precedent. That potential protection of others.
When we first became aware of E’s gender variance, I immediately attempted to run to Christian resources. I wanted hope and support for what I knew, no matter the outcome, would be a challenging road.
I was crestfallen to find that within the first paragraph of about every link I clicked, even with my very limited knowledge at the time, I found false information, false causation for the “why” of what my baby was experiencing.
A poor relationship with the same-sex parent. This one was immediately sort of comical. E has been hooked to my hip since birth, basically. We are buds, nearly inseparable until one of her favorite grandparents come along.
Non-traditional home life. Wrong again. We are the Southern Baptist Convention’s dream: parents married for almost 14 years and going strong, one brother and one sister for E. Branden is the breadwinner and I stay home with the babies. Next!
Liberal ideologies about gender and orientation pushed in the household. I guess the first thing you’d have to know is that you can’t make E do much of anything. The second would be that this is hardly the case. We have two VERY gender norm kids, nearly stereotypical. Bay has been described as “all boy” as many times as he’s been called by his name. Jolee was our fairy princess who often thanked Jesus for everything pink and everything fluffy. It wasn’t really something that occurred much to us, because it never had to. We weren’t doing or not doing anything; we were just living.
Aside from all of that, I don’t know one mother or father on the planet who doesn’t want a good, safe life for their child. No one would wish the struggle, the cruelness of others on their child. When you really think on that part, it’s too absurd to allow to stand.
Trauma of one sort or another during tween/teen years. E told us when she was just two years old who she was. The world hadn’t so much as touched this sweet, wild thing yet. She didn’t even know that what she was telling us was anything but normal because, as we’d learn, it had always just been her normal.
Mental disorder, often linked with other issues such as anxiety and depression. There’s just enough truth in this one: yes, some gender non-conforming kids are indeed anxious and depressed, but more modern, recent research is showing that those issues are often a symptom of a tense home life where the child isn’t embraced for who he or she is. 81% of these types of “comorbidities” disappear inside of a safe home environment.
These are the kinds of “research” we found over and over through Christian avenues. It was so disheartening- almost as disheartening as the “solutions” offered for a child like ours. It’s not happening in our house and in fact, it’s being banned all over the country. As it should.
So….what do you do? I read story after story of families who ended up walking away from traditional Christianity, and walking away from faith altogether.
But I can’t and I won’t, and I don’t think I have to.
One night I stayed up until the earliest hours of the morning, just praying for my baby. You don’t know the worries we have, and unless you’ve been there, you don’t know the fierceness you feel when you realize how much protecting your child may actually need. I was bent over, my face in my mattress, pouring out prayers. For her protection, her well-being. For her living in a cruel world full of people who are so scared of anything different than what they know.
You can think I’m crazy, and that’s okay. If you’ve gotten this far in and you didn’t already, you may now. God spoke to me. Maybe not in an intercom-in-my-room way, but He spoke peace into me. He told me He saw her, He made her, and He was with her.
I believe Him.
I believe in her.
I say all of this to say, I’m choosing to stay. And educate. And fight when I need to. I’m not going quietly; I’m not going at all.
If ONE scared but believing parent looking for answers stumbles across us somehow, I want them to know that they aren’t alone, that they don’t have to choose, and that they don’t have to live afraid. Your baby isn’t broken, your baby was fearfully and wonderfully made and the God of the universe holds them in His hands. And you, too. He’s got us through this.