Genesis 2: 16-17
God created humankind in His image. One feature of God's image is the capacity for choice. God chose to share that capacity with us. If he had not, we would be automatons. We would lack free will and we would lack the ability to respond lovingly to God. How thankful we should be for choice!
Here are several things I have learned regarding choice.
First: Each day is filled with choices. A secular musician has written a song which contains the phrase: "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice." We cannot allow fear or timidity to keep us from choosing our direction for each day.
Next: Some choices are better than others. God admonishes his people to consider life and death, and to make the better choice of life. We might ask how we know which choice is the better one in all circumstances. For this God has given us His Holy Spirit as a guide. If we seek God's will, the Spirit will reveal it at the proper time.
Closely tied to the reality of "better" and "worse" choices is the idea that some aspects of our lives are not changeable by choice. This idea has critical importance for transsexual persons, as I will discuss.
Finally: Choices have consequences. Each life choice we make leads us down one direction. A favorite inspirational card by Mary Engelbreit shows a child walking down a path which has divided. The road sign on her segment says "Your Life". The other road sign says "No Longer An Option". We may never know the consequences which would have resulted from any choice not taken.
How do we apply these principles to our lives as transsexuals?
We do not have a choice whether to be transsexual. This lesson is hard to learn and is responsible for much unhappiness and years of living in frustration. We try to suppress or eliminate an essential element of our identity, rather than accepting it as part of God's plan for our lives.
The choice for us is what to do about the fact that we are transsexual. Most of us did not choose wisely in our youth. We made the choice to ignore or suppress our transgendered identity, because we lacked an understanding of this identity and its permanent character.
We accepted by default the opinion, so prevalent among persons not transgendered, that we could remove this identity from our lives. Whether by our own will power, or by prayer to be free from what we were told was "sin", we chose to deny our reality.
Only after long difficult years did we finally realize that our identity would not change. By then we had made other choices which complicated our lives greatly. We formed families whom we truly loved. Alas, for many of us, our families loved the façade we constructed, the person we pretended to be. They could not accept these new life discoveries we were making.
Ultimately we faced this choice: do we continue to deny our identity, for the sake of those who expect us to remain unchanged; or do we accept our reality and plan the rest of our lives accordingly?
This is the choice which drove us to despair; often depression; sometimes even suicidal thoughts. We were experiencing the consequences of our earlier choices. There is no resolution of this choice without causing discomfort for ourselves and others. Still, a choice must be made.
By accepting our reality and being honest with ourselves and others, we begin a healing process. As we trust God to guide us, he can bring us peace in ourselves and healing in our reationships. If our loved ones will share this trust, God will even give them peace despite difficult circumstances - circumstances which our loved ones did not choose either.
To claim that we have no choice in regard to our actions is demeaning. It diminishes us and fails to give credit to God for creating a people who can choose to identify with God, to love as God loves. It implies that we are not responsible for the results of our actions. This is not so.
We can choose.
We should choose wisely and "choose life" with the guidance of God's Holy Spirit.
We should take into account our past choices, right and wrong, and learn from the consequences of these choices.
We can take responsibility for our actions and accept the consequences of our present and future choices.
Some consequences still are painful; some we do not understand. But we move on, trusting God who "chose us in him before the foundation of the world". (Ephesians 1:4)