I came into the office yesterday with my plan. I had a Skype counseling appointment with a family of a gay son from South Dakota at 10:00 and a video interview with What Jesus Did Ministries at 2:30, and office work in between. At 12:00 the phone rings. My assistant says, “It’s Fox 21 News calling and they want to talk to you about transgender people.” A little overwhelmed I took the call. I have done a lot of local media, nothing national to this point. It doesn’t bother me and I’m pretty used to it by now. It’s nothing like the early days of, “What are these people going to think?” However, those few minutes waiting for the news crew to get to the office always tears me up. I’ve had them call and come one after the other. Sometimes its just one network, like this time, and sometimes its all three networks.
This time was out of my comfort zone. Trangenderism is a pretty complex scenario of someone, male or female, strongly believing that they were born with the wrong sex. Chaz Bono is a transgender person that most know of. Typically, there’s nothing physical to make this distinction; it is typically a mental issue that they have struggled with most of their life. It is not something that is wide spread, like homosexuality, and so I don’t have a great deal of experience with it. I’ve spoken with a teen recently and an older gentleman or person who had the procedure done at the advice of a local counseling center and was regretting his decision. The most well known person to come out of a transgender struggle is Sy Rogers, who has been extremely bold in sharing his story internationally.
I told the news crew that I could relate some, in that I was confused as a young person, having secretly worn my sister’s clothes from 6-12 years of age. I grew out of it but during that time I was very confused. Thankfully I was not in today’s culture that may have led me down that path.
I felt confident that I could handle the interview, so I told them to come on in. I believe that most any problem that we have, any issue, can be solved by surrendering our WHOLE life over to Jesus. People don’t do that, though. They always seem to hold onto their struggle, that one thing, holding back and saying “this is mine” or “this is me.”
I believe each of us can change our whole lives with one three letter word. My answer to that call, the family in South Dakota, the interview with WJD, the news crew, and certainly my willingness to sell everything 10 years ago and go into full-time ministry, all started with one word, “YES.” I don’t believe I am anything special either!
Years ago, a few months after accepting Christ, I felt The Lord calling me to commit my life to Him. I didn’t know how or what that would look like. I had already told a few people about my past in homosexuality, but I had no idea what He wanted from me. In a devotion time, in my little back yard at the time, I felt compelled to make a commitment to The Lord. I said to The Lord, “Lord, whatever you have for me, the answer is Yes. Ask me, tell me, command me; the answer is Yes.” I had no idea at the time what that might involve, but I was committing myself to whatever it was to be.
It wasn’t long after that I heard The Lord say, “Share your story with this person.” One person after another, including my wife-to-be; one group after another; a bus trip back from Promise Keepers (that’s an amazing story that changed men’s lives forever); mentoring countless men, teens and families; countless speaking opportunities; radio interviews; new interviews; press conferences; my face on a billboard (not my idea!); and articles and blogs where I share intimate parts of my life.
Its gotten easier over the years, but there’s still a bit of stress or fear, but I trust The Lord in me to lead me and to speak through me.
For me, and I believe for all of us, it comes down to a willingness to say “Yes.” My life is not my own. As I did the interview with What Jesus Did, which is the wrist band I wear that says WJD, I told them that Jesus did everything in my life but it started with me being willing. I was willing to do the interview about something I might not be an expert in because I’m willing. If The Lord calls upon me to do something, I never say “no.” I was simply willing to do the interview about something I might not be an expert in. I have said “no,” in the past, and in those few times He has actually commanded me to act. I invited Him to do this; I said “command me,” and He has.
Are you willing to say “Yes” to The Lord’s plan for your life, whatever it entails, before you know the details? I would HIGHLY encourage you to commit to that same prayer, that same invitation. He wants to use each and every one of us to share our stories, to share His love, and serve others.
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12:11 NIV)
The interview with Fox 21 will air tonight. I’ll post the link to the video below this blog, as well as when the WJD interview is ready. Watch for the post on Facebook and Twitter.