Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

God’s Dream

   A few months ago the person offering the reflection at the Crossing posed the question: “What is God’s dream for you?”

   I’ve had that question floating around in my head ever since then. I don’t think I have a definitive answer, or anything, but I have thought about it enough to at least write some of it down. I consider my relationship with the divine as much more intuitive than a direct question and answer line. How can I really know the mind of God? How can I have any real idea what God envisions for me? 

   The best I feel I can do is try to gather signs from the world around me, use the faith that I was raised with, and my own sense of intuition to divine what the divine has in mind as my dream existence. When I examine the last five years of my life, I find too many coincidences; I believe the hand of God was very active in my life. I’ve often said that part of the reason I transitioned was that I finally gave up and stopped fighting against the obvious reality of my life – the fact the I am a woman, born with the wrong parts, became too strong to fight any longer; another way for me to look at that is that I finally gave in and accepted God’s dream for me.

   I struggled with my faith for most of my life. I was raised in a very traditional Lutheran congregation. I went to Catholic high school. I had perfect attendance for twelve years of Sunday School. I became Born Again when I was 18. I dabbled with Buddhism. I searched and searched and searched for something real to connect with; some part of God that felt like it was reaching back for me. But I couldn’t find anything. I learned the moral lessons as best I could, but that sense that I was connected to the divine always seemed like a leap of faith I just could not complete no matter how I tried.

   And then I stopped trying. I’d say I gave up looking for God in my life by the time I was 24 or so. I think being transgendered strongly impacted my spiritual journey; how could it not? I was such a shattered identity at that point in my life; living one existence on the outside, but keeping so much hidden, so much bottled up. I lived with so much self-loathing; I knew I was broken and worthless. If there was a God then God certainly cared very little for me, how could any but the most sadistic of Gods create a person with such a tragic flaw as being born into the wrong body?

   I lived in this state for a long time; stuck thinking that the best I could do was bury every feeling of my true self beneath a “normal” life, stuck thinking that either God didn’t exist or was callously ambivalent toward my situation. As I said in a reflection that I once gave, I was pretty bitter.

   And then I gave up fighting. I gave up trying to be something I wasn’t. I gave up resisting the obvious path that I was being called to follow, no matter how hard that path appeared. And a funny thing happened: I started noticing God in my life. It hadn’t occured to me at the time, but once I stopped fighting everything ~including God~, God was suddenly there for me.

   It was small at first; I was groomed. There was teaching a drum line in a church; there was the Episcopal priest who, when told of my impending gender change said: “If there’s anything we can do support you, just let us know;” there was the friend who gently spoke with me of her spiritual journey and my own; there was drumming in church; there was the night my Gram died, when I ~most definitely~ felt her spirit touch me and leave me some of her strength; there was The Crossing; there was the call to preach; there was the support and celebration of me being myself by the most spiritual and religious people I knew; there was the prayer circle and blessing before I left for Colorado for my SRS. God was patient working her way back into my life; I never would have been ready for a blinding revelation five years ago, but with the last five years that I have lived, it would be impossible for me to not believe that God has been most active in my life.

   And so, even though I know this will be a changing answer and a changing equation, when I think of what God’s dream for me is and will be, I see a continued acceptance of self, I see a call to make the world a better place for transgender people, I feel drawn to raise a family, and of course to continue drumming in such a way that connects me to the divine stronger than anything else. When I think of where I am and where I’ve been, I’d like to think that God is proud of me; proud of the strength I have exhibited in the last five years; proud of the person I have become. Of course, the test now is to continue to make God proud of me, the journey gets no easier just because I hope I have done good.  🙂  The most important part of what I imagine of God’s dream for me to be is that I trust; I have always been obstinate and contrary, I need to trust my senses that I don’t need to fight truth.

   One of my most consistent prayers is that I hope I am living up, in some small way, to God’s dream for me. It’s sort of, by its very nature, an unknowable truth – I must simply strive to fulfill God’s dream for me as best I can. I certainly try to, and I will continue that hope and prayer and effort.


1 Comment»

  Corrvin wrote @

” One of my most consistent prayers is that I hope I am living up, in some small way, to God’s dream for me.”

“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

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