My Whole Broken Beautiful Bubbly Self

by - 1:50 AM






Oh wide beautiful internet world filled with wonderful people (and nazis), I have a confession to make.
A confession of tone, substance, and believing myself to be something I ain’t.
I have not given you my whole self.
Not even half.
Not even almost.

I haven’t returned to this my deep and brooding theology blog but once or so in the past year. I have my reasons, I was healing from an abusive marriage and the resulting divorce, I was getting to know my Husband and step-kids better, I was reconnecting with my daughter, and I was making lots of jokes about my new vagina and dinosaurs.

But that’s the thing. I make jokes. I do, constantly. And this space, the space I built, was a fairly joke and humor free zone. It was a space I carved out for the battleground of the culture wars. It was, if I’m honest, a fairly miserable place to be.


Like the White House. (ok maybe not that bad) 

I call this blog A Resurrected Hope, but in the beginning that title was a statement of hope unto itself. In the past 2+ years I have gone through more than any person should have to go through in a lifetime. I packed trauma, recovery, healing, growth and resurrection into such a tight schedule that I barely had time to come up for air. But I made it, and what is more is that I believe I will continue to do so.

What I will not continue to do however is to separate parts of myself out for public consumption. When I first started writing this blog I was still deeply deeply entrenched in the culture of fundamentalism, evangelicalism and cishet patriarchal bullshit. I was finding my way step by step out into the light but it was a slow process. I wanted to keep what little shreds of respectability I could hold onto even as the theological world I loved stripped it away from me for my mere existence.

So instead of pouring my whole queer AF self out here into my blog of redemption, I scattered it out where I believed it could be better consumed in little chunks, my snarkiness and trans struggle went to OnWednesdays.net, my pithy wisdom over to Twitter, my rants on Facebook, my tears to my husband, my joy to my kids etc. etc. Ad Nauseam.  The only thing I allowed here was what I considered deep and profound bits of wisdom that I thought could change people’s hearts and minds. (are you getting the idea that I’m full of myself, cause that’s what I’m copping to)

But something has been changing in me. First with my acceptance and ordination into a denomination of like-minded ministers who didn’t see my full self as something less than holy.





*waves at my faves*

And second with the call to serve as the Pastor for a beautiful group of Holy Heretics at Mercy Junction Justice And Peace Center who saw my work, and shockingly even my facebook, and thought, “hey let’s give this strange woman a position”.




I repeat, they wanted THIS weirdo. 

When I got the message from Beth, the director of Mercy Junction, my first thought was “Hahaha, she has lost her damn mind”, followed shortly by “Oh my God, that would be amazing, but would they really want all of me?”.

This thought traipsed mud through the back of my mind for a good week. It stirred up trouble and reminded me of the fears of my childhood. It reminded me that I was never good enough, that who I was was shameful. Somewhere, deep in a sealed vault in my skull, the name of an Incredible Hulk villain tried to sneak out and remind me who I was to the family I had lost.

But then it got hot outside. Like really hot. Like the space between Jason Momoa and Gal Gadot hot.


THAT Hot. 

And I had an anti white-supremacy protest to attend with people from Mercy Junction, in my clerical garb. And it was HOT.

As these thoughts finally settled home I thought long and hard about how I wanted to be seen. It may seem frivolous but I put a lot of myself in fashion and makeup. As a transgender woman I was denied this as a young girl and now I enjoy aesthetics primarily for the artistic self-expression. My outfits and my makeup speak volumes about who I want to be and how I want to be seen. I dress Goth to celebrate the solemnity of holy week, I celebrate victories with bold colors, defeats with comfort, and days of gentle peace with earth tones. To trans people, the simple act of being seen is, in and of itself, often a sacred experience.

So, if you can, imagine how I felt staring in a mirror looking at myself in my clerical shirt knowing something was off. I put my makeup on, choosing a bold red lip and a vibrant eye to remind myself to be courageous, and I stared some more. Something wasn’t right.
I tried different skirts, I tried a couple headbands, nope, nope, nope.
Finally, in a flash of clarity, I knew what it was. It was hot outside, if I was in any other shirt I would tie it up. I would have done so in a heartbeat. As I stared at that white collar I realized this crisis of respectability was the decision I had been wrestling with for a week.

Who do I bring to work when I go to work for God?

I tied my shirt up, I looked in the mirror and realized, I bring me. I bring all of me. I bring broken me, I bring beautiful me, I bring bubbly weird constantly struggling me. I bring that person, or I might as well stay home.

When I sat down with Beth the following week I brought me too. And it turns out me was shockingly enough for this collection of amazing beautiful people who want me to be their pastor.

I can think of very few things better than that feeling.

This is my announcement that I have accepted the call to serve Mercy Junction as her pastor, to do the work of open vulnerable communion and to call her people into love and resistance.
I will do so as me.
I will continue to write here much more regularly with as little pretense and piety as possible. And I will try to remember the additional vow I made to both my denomination and my church upon their welcoming of me.

____________________________________________________________________________


I will continue to lift my voice against systems of oppression and strive to lift the burdens of the marginalized. 

I will continue to share ALL of myself as an act of radical vulnerability and honesty, even the parts that I myself find difficult to love. Even the parts that I myself find scandalous. 

I will keep myself from the appearance of holiness at the cost of defiling the sacred nature of all things, of all people. 

I will, whenever it is within my power, protect those called sinners from the oppression of those called saints. 

I will remember that ministry is very often an exercise of vanity, and that ego is not to be trusted but tamed. 

I will let my hands do more of the talking. 

I will be a stone to the powerful, bread to the hungry, and ruin my mascara for the mourning.

I will keep my sense of humor. I will laugh. 

I will remember that my privilege does not equate to my morality. I will sacrifice the one before the other. 

I will try.

I will fail. Spectacularly and openly.

And I will continue even so.

This I promise. 

Amen.

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