Speaking of God, I don't know what religion you are, but I'm Catholic, and we don't believe in so-called "sex changes." If you were born male, you're male; if you have cross-gender feelings, then it's best to be celibate. And even if being transgender can be considered a disability, God creates us with disabilities: "The LORD said to him, 'Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?'" (Exodus 4:11) Again, if you don't believe in God, you can disregard this paragraph.
You might want to read some more of my warnings--some are on the warning page, some are in the articles.
I'm not sure what you mean by "It's everything but a choice now." It sounds like you mean you'll have to either transition or commit suicide, like so many other transgender people claim.
I was once worried and confused like you are. I was scared I'd someday snap and have to transition... until I met a 73-year-old man in a woman's body who still had no desire to transition. After that, things didn't improve like I'd hoped; as I went from my early 20s to my mid-20s, I saw others around me get into relationships and leave me in the dust. I already knew that I would be celibate, because straight women aren't attracted to me, but lesbians are (and lesbians are forbidden from dating biological males, just like staright men are). Friends disappeared, and my attempts to get new friends never really got off the ground. My options out in the social world were shrinking. I saw no way out of a future that was all about work, watching TV with my mom and my guinea pigs, and not much else.
Then, my mom and I both, around the same time, decided to go to church. A lot of factors were building up to this change, and when we went, I saw a way into a new life. Before, when I heard about people "accepting Jesus," I thought it was just a bunch of cornball talk, but over the next month, I made the same switch--though I feel closer to the Virgin Mary than to Jesus (they're kind of a package deal in Catholicism). I like having a structure in my life (the Catholic Church has a set of fixed rules, but within those rules, we're still allowed lots of space), I like knowing that God is there for me and has my best interest at heart (if you're objecting to this on the grounds that a loving God would not allow suffering, I encourage you to read If God Is Good by Randy Alcorn), and I like being part of a conservative culture.
You're probably wondering how this helped with my gender issues. First, through prayer, I found that God made me this way so I would have the emotions, the worldview, and the thoughts of a woman, but without being distracted by a husband and children or the pursuit thereof (why this was important to Him, I don't know)--and then He gave me guinea pigs to make up for not being able to have babies. Christians with disabilities of any kind are comforted by the idea that God had a purpose in making them the way they are. Second, spiritual growth is the best way to deal with any suffering; personal ideas about God are inevitably limited by one's own limitations, and organized religion is the best way to avoid having to do it all alone. A Christian can draw on 2,000 years of history (more if you look at the Old Testament) and billions of believers worldwide.
I'm not trying to push anything on you; I'm just offering the solution that worked for me. You might want to go with a Christian friend if you have one, or talk to a priest. You are in my prayers.
I found it interesting when you mentioned having Gunea Pigs in place of having children. I had a gunea pig too once, but we had to send it away in 2003. I've been suffering from constipation and irregular bowel movements for as long as I can remember. Back in 2008, it got so bad that I've had rectal bleeding. I did try to take care of it, but I now miss that it happened because in that I notice that I've been having rectal bleeding to make up for not being able to menstruate. However, it only happened once, and I want it happen again.
Also, I feel as though... this sounds like I'm being evil but it's the God-honest truth, but I feel like that if God wouldn't make me a girl, then I'll forget everything It had ever done for me and resort to allying myself with the devil, and That will make me a girl. I'm that desparate. It shouldn't sound that bad anyway because if one person won't give you what you need or want then go to the next person. Common sense, am I right? I don't know about the Christianity stuff since I don't follow that type of religion anyway but I compare myself to the starving, malnurished, and homeless children in Africa, Brazil, and other regions of the world who end up resorting to crime and other malicious behaviors just to survive. It's that bad in my case. My mom say I'm disrespecting God or combatting It. Well, It should've made me a girl from the door then, aren't I right? I mean no disrespect against It, really, but this is far too much, and to see the priveleges and benefits girls have over boys... it angers me to great ends and I end up being mad at God and resenting It because of it.
Thanks for keeping me in your prayers.
I have to admit, I'm a bit surprised about the rectal bleeding. (It reminds me of an episode of South Park--I used to watch that show way back in my teen years). I've had it happen. It's painful. I would not want to go through it again. That you would want to go through pain just to simulate a female body function is worrisome, to say the least.
As for the emotional problems you describe, I have to admit I'm no expert on how to talk someone out of that, but I can give you a bit of Christian teaching. Just because God didn't make you a biological girl doesn't mean He doesn't love you. (I say He because God has revealed Himself to be a Father--which makes sense because human mothers are so much closer to their children that God is to us.) Again, I encourage you to read If God Is Good by Randy Alcorn. That is the best book on the problem of suffering I have ever read. Seriously. It will answer all your questions. Anything else I've read on the subject just reiterates it--badly.
It's interesting that you mention that you know you're better off than those starving children in Africa--and yet, many have strong faith in God. Not all of them resort to crime. I used to be as angry at God as you are--maybe more so, because I refused to believe in Him for so long. I think you should give Christianity a chance. Especially Catholicism--you can come close to God through devotion to the Virgin Mary, as I did, and having a structure and a set of rules really helped me. Do you really think you're the only person in the world who's ever been angry at God? If so, you have to see the movie Bruce Almighty, in which Jim Carrey plays a man who's angry at God, and then God gives him divine power for a while.
Yes, there exist advantages to being female. And it's hard to be a woman, but harder still to be a woman who's expected to act like a man. It is a difficult cross to bear. But since God knows everything, He must have had a very good reason for making you transgender. Maybe your life is better than it would be if you were biologically female. Not every woman has it better than you, after all. For example, you say your mom wanted a son. Though you are female inside, your mom still got to raise you as a boy. If you were a genetic girl, your mom would obviously have had to raise you as a girl, and perhaps you and she wouldn't get along as well. I know I would have a lot more trouble raising a boy than raising a girl.
I'm not exactly sure why it's such a problem for you that you're considering suicide and bargaining with Satan. Is it loneliness? Guess what--I'm lonely too! So are lots of people. Maybe you'll be able to make friends if you go to church.
It seems to me that you have theological questions about your being transgender--basically, why would God do this to you? In that case, you can ask me whatever you like on that subject, and I will do my best to answer.
I just have trouble accepting the so-called fact that I created this life, not God. It/He/She (I call God It, because from what I believe, God is a spirit, and spirits don't have gender, just like the Universe doesn't have a gender). But I'm going to have to since I'm fully aware that our thoughts created this realtity as we live it in the present moment. I must have thought I could do it
You don't seem as bent on feeling more like female as I do. I say this because of the rectal bleeding thing. Yes, it was painful to me, not when I was "menstruating" though. The passing of hardstoods was painful. The blood leakage was painless. Only thing though, I wish I had a menstruation pad to staunch the blood flow. As the pregnant girl at school told me, "We as girls go through a lot of pain." Well, we as humans in general go through a lot of pain, no? I do understnad your surprise, however. And did you mean it was worrisome to you? I would want to go through it at least once more.
It's just that sometimes, I resent God for making me a transgender, IF He/She/It made me transgender, that's who I end up blaming and my mother is bent on getting me to believe that all that's happen is meant to happen, reguardless whether or not we want it to happen. And I'm ashamed of myself for angrilly believing it when I know better. I've manifested things myself! I'm not a churchgoer. I might consider it though.
As I see it, two things are keeping you from God. One is your assumptions about Him. The other is your anger at Him. I will address the former first.
Who says you rather than God created this life? God gives us our disabilities (Exodus 4:11). He (we believe God is genderless too, but His role is more like a father than anything else) is the one who knows (not "thinks") you can do it.
I tried the New Age stuff myself for a while. But it didn't help, because, as a Catholic priest I saw on TV once said, with the New Age philosophy, you don't need God, because you are God. The problem with that is that you have no one to turn to when things get difficult. Contrast that with the God portrayed in the psalms--our shepherd, our rock, our light, etc. It is God's thoughts that create realirty, not ours.
You're right that I'm not as bent on feeling more female as you are. But I used to be. I used to be obsessed with anything that feminized my appearance. Even after my mom told me to cut my hair and masculinize my appearance in general, I still missed looking more feminine. I was obsessed with how my life might be "if only" I were a biological woman.
And do you know who helped me overcome that? It was God, along with the Virgin Mary. When you put your faith in God, it truly works miracles.
To be angry at God for making you transgender means that you doubt that He had a good reason for making it so. Try praying to Him about who He made you transgender. I did. It really helped. You might want to try some books written for people who are angry at God (there are a bunch at my local library, which suggests that this is a common problem)--also some books on how to pray.
I'm glad you're considering going to church. I don't know your religious background, but I suggest you pick a Catholic church, because it seems to me that you need a religion that will provide some structure rather than letting you do whatever you want (many Protestant denominations are very liberal and will let you take whatever you want out of the Bible--a conservative Protestant denomination is OK if that's your background).
As far as the "you don't need God because you are God" thing goes, this part I'm not so sure about. If I am God, then why don't I have powers that God does Himself/Herself?
So, your mom had you looking more masculine and you were okay with that? And God helped you overcome that? I have to be a little blunt here and say that it's not nessasarily the case that I doubt that He/She has a good reason for making me transgender, just that for cusing me with a male body and not blessing me with a female one.
I mean -- I've heard stories about people having faith in God and then becoming witnesses to some awesome miracles later. As far as my religious background goes, I, like I said in a previous e-mail, don't follow any particular religion. I'm still considering it though
we got some of the religious groups that are against homosexuality and being transgender, proclaiming how much they hate the LBGT people when God Himself/Herself is not of hate in the slightest bit? Think about that.
I've been thinking about your situation. We both believe in God, but you don't seem to believe that He loves you, because He gave you a male body instead of a female one. But with this, you're saying that if God loved you, you would not suffer. This is where Christianity comes in handy, as I'll explain.
You mention your belief that we are the co-creators of the universe. This is what the priest meant by "you are God." In theory, under your philosophy, you do have the powers of God, you just don't know how to use them. (If you've ever seen Bruce Almighty, then this is actually a scary thought.) As God created the universe, you create your own reality. I have a few objections to this, not just as a Catholic, but also logically.
1) Under New Age teaching, everyone is God. This means that, ultimately, there is no higher law in the universe.
a) So what do we do with the existence of evil and suffering? Christianity has a better solution: As I've said, God lets bad things happen for a greater good. I enjoy cartooning, and I've illustrated this principle here: http://fav.me/d3b4klz
b) With no higher law, we live in a universe of moral relativism; as C.S. Lewis put it, you might call a cancer evil because it kills a person, but you might also call a surgeon evil for killing the cancer. If all morality is relative, then how can we say that Hitler was evil? Since nearly everyone agrees that Hitler was evil, it follows that most of us have an inherent sense of what is and is not moral. Moral relativism is logically inconsistent, as it (like any philosophy) elevates those who believe in it above those who don't--but this contradicts its own principle that no system of morality is better than any other.
2) Under New Age teaching, the universe was created by some vast, impersonal "force." This is part of why I was into New Age stuff myself for a while; I thought whoever created the universe was so vast and powerful as to be unable to care about humans. But ultimately, I found this to be unsatisfying, because tuning into "the Force" (to borrow a term from Star Wars) doesn't make us happy like being loved by our Heavenly Father.
3) I used to believe in reincarnation because the evidence seemed airtight, but it could be just as easily explained by God connecting minds across time (remember, He exists outside of time). Two and a half years ago, I had a dream in which I experienced a moment as a girl I knew from school. Does this mean that she and I are the same soul?
a) I've heard, and even believed in, the Law of Karma. If reincarnation is a learning experience, how exactly are we supposed to learn from stuff we can't remember? If I'm transgender and have Asperger's Syndrome because I was mean to the downtrodden in another life (this is just an example), and I never come to know this fact, then how is this fair?
b) The evidence for Jesus being God incarnate, on the other hand, can't really be explained any other way. Jesus claimed to be God (He meant this literally, which is why He got in trouble with the Jewish authorities)--if this were not true, then He would be a liar or a lunatic, which is inconsistent with His wonderful moral teachings. Many say the New Testament was fiction (or at least exaggerated), but if Jesus wasn't resurrected, then why did His apostles allow themselves to be killed to spread the Good News (that's what "Gospel" means), as described in the Book of Acts? If it were fiction, wouldn't they have recanted to save their own lives?
You can read more evidence in More Than A Carpenter by Josh & Sean McDowell. And if Jesus really was God, then shouldn't we all pay more attention to His teachings?
4) There is no real evidence that the "Law of Attraction" works. When you know that God is in control, it doesn't really make sense. Quantum physics does NOT prove New Age teaching; that's an interpretation based on Neils Bohr's Hindu perspective.
All these and more are why I have ultimately dumped New Age thinking. When I believed in it, I needed something to cling to, and anything but the Abrahamic (in other words, Judeo-Christian-Islamic) God would do.
Here's a thought experiment. Imagine if my guinea pigs thought like you. (Luckily, they don't.) Imagine if they thought I didn't love them because I've had to take them to the vet to get shots, because I've had to let someone hold them still to cut their nails (sometimes they bleed because they won't hold still), because I don't always give them food when they want it (which is all the time), and because I had to separate them for a while so the slow eaters wouldn't starve. I can't explain all this to guinea pigs. I would have to become a guinea pig and be raised in their ways from birth so I could explain to them, in a way they understand, why I do what I do and how they can make their lives easier.
Obviously, I can't do that. But God can. That's why He became human, in the form of Jesus. This knowledge has helped me immensely. I talk to God about things that go on, and He helps me. I can accept that some things, no matter how badly I want them, are not part of His plan. I often imagine myself walking side-by-side with Him (I picture Him looking like a ten-foot-tall Gandalf), talking about whatever.
I'm much happier being Catholic. I hope you find as much happiness as I have. Try to reconcile with God. He would not have given you a male body unless He had a very good reason.
You're absolutely right that God is not hate. Someone who goes to church and hates someone else, especially for something they can't change, is not a Christian. "Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." (1 John 3:15, NASB). That guy who made the "God hates fags" website is more likely to go to Hell than even the most unrepentant practicing homosexual.
Here's the Catholic teaching on homosexuality, straight from the Catechism:
"Chastity and homosexuality
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection."
So someone who hates homosexuals is not following Catholic teaching. The ideal Christian hates sin precisely because she loves the sinner so much, she doesn't want her to turn from God by sinning.
I know you mentioned you believe that we are all co-creators with God and reincarnation exists, but is there more?
Those were some interesting teachings about Christianity and Homosexuality. So, if in Christianity, if I do repent my sins and be forgiven, I can go to Heaven after all... I guess...
Because I have a male body, I'm expected to abide by the laws of manhood, (which by the way I refuse) and I often seen other females grant benefits and priveleges that males don;t... because they're female and it angers me to endless ends because of it... all because I had to have a male form. As far as the Heaven goes, it's not that I don't want to go to Heaven. I just want to reincarnate as female to have a second chance to get this right. There is this song that I've become addicted to--it's called 'Heaven' by BeBe and CeCe Winans and it's really uplifting. It's not doing much about my gender problem but when I'm dealing with the mixture of anger, despair, and jealousy, I have to hear that gospel song.
#1: It sounds like you believe that God is an impersonal force rather than a being. If that is so, then why were you angry at Him for your suffering? Isn't that a bit like being angry at electromagnetism when you get shocked by static electricity?
#2: If that's true, then why do the things we think about so much and hope so desperately for turn out not to happen? As Woody Allen put it (and was so well acted out in Evan Almighty), "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."
#3: We agree that there is life after death.
#4: We believe something similar: "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap." (Galatians 6:7, NASB) We also believe that suffering sometimes happens for a greater good: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
#5: We believe that God does not call everyone to marriage. Married people have their spouses and children to take care of, and so there are ways in which it's far easier for a celibate person to serve God than for a married person to serve Him. "But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord." (1 Corinthians 7:32--actually, the whole chapter 1 Corinthians 7 talks about this topic.)
The idea that "every pot has a lid" is not supported mathematically; the sex ratio is not perfectly 50-50. Take a look at the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sex_ratio. If there are 101 males for every 100 females, then who will that extra male mate with?
One more question: Is there any particular reason you believe in each of these things?
If you are truly sorry for your sin and turn away from it (that's what "repent" means), then, yes, God will forgive you. If you decide to be Catholic, then after you go through RCIA, you can go to confession and have a priest formally absolve you of your sins (God forgives us, but it's really nice to have someone there telling us this).
Which "laws of manhood" bother you so much? Which "benefits" of womanhood do you long for so much? And why must being transgender be a "defect?" Some people see it as just one of many genders, so to them, it's no better or worse than male or female. I'm sure God had a very good reason to make you transgender. And why would you rather be female on Earth than female in Heaven?
Since you mention wanting to be pregnant, I did a little research and found a gadget that allows you to feel over 20 symptoms of pregnancy: http://empathybelly.org/home.html It costs about $700, but maybe you can find a cheap, used one on Ebay or something, or maybe you can put aside a little bit of money over time. I had a friend who taught me a trick to saving money: Whenever you get $1 bills or coins in change, put them in a box. Don't spend them. I don't know what you do for a living, but maybe you can do some odd jobs on the side for extra money--babysitting, tutoring, gardening, etc. You seem to be the poopsite of me--while I'd like to be pregnant, I would be perfectly happy being an adoptive mother.
If gospel music helps you, then imagine what the ideas behind gospel music (i.e. Christianity) can do for you.
I can't really say why I believe in the things I do but the best way I can is based on the things I've seen happen in my life and from people who know far more than me.
Because I have a male body, I'm expected to act as such. I'm expected to... y'know be tough and be into sports and all that b/s. I mean--no way being all manly and masculine is far out of my nature and I'm not changing myself to accomdate what society wants me to be. No way in Satan's home am I going to do so. I'm naturally feminine. I don't even have to try, it's second nature to me. Being transgender is a birth defect because I have a female brain but wasn't born with a female body to match, as I should have... just like being born with an inapporpriate ammount of fingers and/or toes is a defect. Now why do most people call being transgender a "mental health disorder?" That's a question I would love an answer to!
The female on Earth vs female in Heaven thing I've been thinking all last night about. I would like to be one in both places. I just don't know how good being a girl in Heaven would do me... well... because I don't know what Heaven is like. I'm not so confident I would menstruate in the spirit world. I don't think you bleed in Heaven. But I still would like to be one in both places. I'm just certain on Earth, I'll have the full experience, you feel me?
That pregnancy thing for $700??? Ouch!!! I don't think I'm paying that much for that thing. I think for now I'll stick to the pillow trick. But thank you for the research for me. That money saving trick--i did just that, used my work money (you asked what I worked? I worked at a college mailroom office) and put it aside and not spend any unless in emergency and that's how I bought this laptop. Adoptive mother? Don't you just wanna concieve a child of your own?
The external links are a bunch of gay Christian websites.
Not all Christians are conservative like me. Many emphasize the teachings on compassion rather than the teachings on sexual morality. I feel that sexual permissiveness has been a damaging factor to society, but I'm not going to tell you that you have to agree with me to be Christian.
Still, sexual permissiveness is the enemy of the transgender person. In our sexually permissive society, sex has been elevated to a sacrament, in which everyone is expected to partake (hence the demand for gay rights). For you and I to partake, we must have sex in the male role with straight women (though straight women aren't attracted to me) or gay men, both of whom, by definition, expect their partners to be male in their sexuality, which is the one thing we cannot be. (And lesbians? Forget about it--they only allow each other to date biological women.) So, in order to be in sexual relationships, we have to try to change ourselves into what we cannot be... and then fail miserably. The only alternative is to transition, but that rarely leads to happiness (please read the articles on my site to see why).
I think celibacy is a lifeline God throws to people like us to get us out of this mess. We don't have to endlessly chase satisfaction by conforming to the world's sinful standards. We can find true happiness by submitting to God's holy standards.
The stuff you describe about making your dreams come true through visualization has been taught by some Christians; this is called the "Health and Wealth Gospel." However, most Christians don't believe in it, because Jesus taught the dangers of material prosperity and the need to help the poor. What evidence do you have for your belief? The problem with it is that under this belief, any suffering you experience is because of your own lack of faith. In reality, sometimes no amount of faith can change a situation. Sometimes a situation happens because God knows it's what's best for you.
I believe the apostle Paul answered your questions on marriage better than I can: http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/1corinthians/1corinthians7.htm And the stuff about the human sex ratio is documented in that article; the source is the CIA, so, yes, it is real. The balancing scenarios you hope for are not supported by the statistics.
Outside of a romantic/sexual relationship, why do you have to conform to stereotypical masculinity? I don't. I'm just myself. I haven't had trouble over that since high school. Is that the only reason you want to transition? Where do you get the assumption that you "should have" been born with a female body? Do you know more than God? You say it's a defect like being born with six fingers on each hand. But if that sixth finger functions just like all the others, then why is it a defect? Because it's rare? Then is the gene for red hair a defect, since it's also rare?
Here's something to think about: You're not willing to pay $700 for the pregnancy simulator. So you must not want to feel pregnancy as badly as you claim. If you work 5 days a week, and you put aside $5 per workday, then that's $25 per week, and you can afford the pregnancy simulator in 28 weeks, or about 6-7 months. That's shorter than a pregnancy! You just have to put your mind to it.
If you want to experience pregnancy in Heaven, you can. If you want to feel what it's like to menstruate in Heaven, you can. ANYTHING you need to be happy, God will allow you to have it in Heaven. There is no certainty that you would experience all those things on Earth. There are iological women who are infertile; there are those who never menstruate; there are those who miss out on all kinds of experiences the rest of the world feels are key to womanhood.
One last thing: Take a look at the vignette called "The Room" by Joshua Harris: http://www.joshharris.com/the_room_my_dream.php Read it, and then ask yourself what the story would look like without Jesus. This illustrates why the Christian doctrine of salvation is so helpful.
The good news is, you don't have to take my position on sexuality to be Christian. The most important thing is a relationship with God--not the impersonal god you believe in, but the loving God of the Bible, who became human in the form of Jesus--the God described in John 3:16 (look it up) and Psalm 23. To learn more, find an online bible to read--they're free--and pick a translation you like (most are in modern English). I'm guessing you might like Today's English Version (a.k.a. The Good News Bible), which is a thought-for-thought translation that enables the modern reader to understand the ideas being talked about. If you do this, I suggest you start with the Gospels--Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Those are where you learn all about Jesus.
You mention that we only find happiness by submitting to God's holy standards but that's a bit of a challenge to do given the fact that God's the one who made me transgender in the first place and I don't appreciate it, at all! You are right though (or at least I agree with you) about God in the end knowing what's best for me anyhow because whereas a dream coming true, God always makes it far better than the dreamer imagined.
"Outside of a romantic/sexual relationship, why do you have to conform to stereotypical masculinity? I don't." Neither do I. It's what the world expects because when they see me, they see a male form and expects me to behave as such, which I refuse and always will. The reason I wanted to transition was because I so desperately wanted a female body and wanted to be accepted in this world as a female, using the female public bathrooms and all, with the likewise rights and priveleges.
"Where do you get the assumption that you "should have" been born with a female body? Do you know more than God?" Same place a person born blind gets the assumption they should have vision and those people aren't wrong in thinking that way. It's a birth error. Perhaps I should've used a better example for a birth defect--being blind for example, or a person born with only one leg or arm. That's a birth defect.
As far as the pregnancy device goes, I guess it would be worth the $700 because that's how much I spent on my laptop. I do wish to experience what it;s like being pregnant and I must say--technology has come a long way. I looked at the website and was already amazed. I used the technique you explained to me to get the laptop. Instead of $5, i would put aside a portion of my checks and hide it somewhere and not touch it, unless of emergency or something and got the laptop in three months. I just hope the pregnancy thing is worth it, and if not, I suppose then there's always eBay! And you taught me my own lesson! I just have to put my mind to it. Right!
I just read teh first two paragraphs of that Josh Harris article, I have to take my time because I have a short attention span and I'm more of a writer than a reader. And the thing I'm reading has to really interest me for it to get a hold of my attention.
As far as Heaven is concerned, it all sounds exciting but I must ask and I'm not claiming I disagree with you but where is your source of this information about expereincing happiness in Heaven?
You say this is still too much for you to bear. I thought it was too much for me to bear, until God helped me. He can help you too. And when you seek God, I really think you should seek the Christian God, because I don't think any other religion would have helped so much. I, too, only wanted to live a short life. I was sticking around just for my mom and guinea pigs, but didn't want to outlive my mom by much.
Also, when you say you wanted to transition, do you mean that you no longer want to transition? If so, congratulations! (If you no longer want to transition, what changed your mind?)
Your motives for so desperately wanting to be biologically female are still unclear. All you're doing is comparing it to disabilities. Even if it can be classified as such, why does that mean you have to be angry and miserable over it? It's not like there's anything you can do about it. (Even transition brings more misery than happiness.)
To answer your questions about Heaven, this is what any priest will tell you when you ask whether or not you will meet your pets in Heaven. It is understood that Heaven is a place without suffering. Without someone to mother, I wouldn't be happy, so I will have my guinea pigs in Heaven (assuming I'm good enough to get there). Hopefully the pregnancy simulator will help you get a taste of what's to come.
Here's the testimony of someone who was born male, transitioned to female, came to Christ, and has been living as a man since: http://www.witnessfortheworld.org/dthompson.html
Since you have difficulty reading long pieces, you might want to get children's books of Bible stories instead of an actual Bible, and you might want to get your information from documentaries. Do you have Netflix? If so, you can watch Instant Streaming movies on your computer. I've seen The Miracle Maker (a movie about Jesus), The Case for Christ, Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution, Dragons or Dinosaurs: Creation or Evolution?, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (about intelligent design and how scientists get fired for teaching it), and lots more!
I also think you should join a Christian group--maybe a church youth group, if they let people your age in. (Just don't let them know you're transgender--no one seems to get it!) They'll be ecstatic to have a convert. God, Jesus, Mary, and all the angels and saints will be happy to have you as a Christian: "I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." (Luke 15:7)
Remember, God loves you. Jesus loves you, and Mary loves you. That used to sound so corny to me before I became a Christian, but it's true. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life." (John 3:16)
I hope you find as much happiness accepting Jesus as your savior as I did.
I do not want to transistion, no. I decided against it because of the high cost for the many surgeries and stories like the girl that got beat up at McDonalds is another one of those reasons, and transitioning would really complicate things, i think. Also, they can't do jack about giving me a uterus implant, anyhow. So, it's not worth it but I still considering what I said about undergoing a "half transition".
I would like to be redeemed of all my sins and past wrongdoings so I can earn my way into Heaven. Much like everyone else, I'd like to experence what it's like. Without carrying a baby in my stomach and having an all-female posse to hang out with, I don't think I'd be happy either and I look forward to having that experince in Heaven... as well as my next incarnation. And if being this thing that God intended for me to be, then i guess that is what I will do.
No, I don't have netflics but I'll look into the movie when I get hte chance. And I will consider joining a Christian group. "I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." You lost me here. So, this quote is saying that there is more Heavenly joy for a rigteous sin-free person than one sinner?
I just wish that in the pregnancy stilmulation, they remove the breasts. I wonder if they ever took into the consideration that a man may want to expereince being pregnant but don't want the breasts. I mean, a pregnant woman's breasts do tend to enlarge during pregnancy but they;re not even accurately located! But all those decent features have me excited to have one.
Who's Mary? Jesus' mother?
1) Admit you are a sinner, and turn away from your sin.
2) Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and died on the cross to save you from your sins and give you eternal life. (People often wonder why He had to die. My answer is: without the Crucifixion, there could be no Resurrection, and hence no Christianity.)
3) Find someone who can lead you in the faith. Do you have any Christian friends? If not, make some! You need someone besides me, because 1) I'm Catholic, and you most likely won't be, and 2) I don't know you in person (I live in California--where do you live?)
You can pray a simple prayer to God (prayer is just talking to God)--here's one if you're stuck: http://christianity.about.com/od/prayersforspecificneeds/a/salvationprayer.htm
Since you have difficulty reading long passages of text, I think you should go to the library or bookstore and get children's books of Bible stories. You may want to look at the really simple stuff, for very young Christian children.
Your explanation of why you want to be biologically female is helpful. I struggle with similar issues--to a much lesser degree these days, thanks to God, but it's still there. When you think about it, these are little things--not worth getting angry over. Does wearing a bra or being able to talk about bras really make that much of a difference? Why not pray to God about it? Now that you're open to a relationship with Him, what better way to reconcile than to pray about the issues that kept you from Him for so long?
As for the all-female posse, I have had that in the past... but they disappear when they get boyfriends. That's not because of our biological sex--girls dump each other when the right guy comes along. It's sad that it must be that way, but it's how God made the human species. I prayed about this exact issue, and God's answer was that He calls some people to marriage, just as He calls others to the priesthood or something else (that's the Catholic position), and so someone called to marriage must focus their whole life on it, just as someone called to the priesthood must focus their whole life around that. Hence, a couple's focus is each other, because they must eventually raise a family together, and they can't afford distractions such as friends (other than the parents of their kids' friends).
What I was talking about when quoting that Bible verse was how happy whatever church you go to will be to have you. When a sinner who repents comes to God, it's a much happier occasion than when a righteous person simply stays as they are. (And, yes, Mary is Jesus's mother. We Catholics hold her in very high esteem, as she was the mother of Jesus, who was God incarnate, i.e. the "Mother of God.")
If you have any questions at all about Christianity, please feel free to ask me.
The bra thing was just an example, an example of the reason I'm so furiated over not having a female body because of the rights and priveleges of a female that I'm unentitled to just because of my male body. I just won't follow up on the priveleges, rights, and laws I'm entitled to as a male. I'm done putting on this mask for society out of the fear that i'll be discriminated against. I will put my foot down and stand up for myself. I'm not going to tell anyone I'm transgender, I'll just present as a feminine guy and I will show off my hairless legs! And I do plan to don a pair of leopard-print tight leggings.
Oh, I feel you should know that I don't care in the slightest about my prostate health... I say this because my mom has once told me I should eat more tomatoes in order to take care of my prostate health... for an obvious reason. I'm still in that going-to-extremes mindset, mind you.
I can't tell you how much I prayed to come back in my next incarnation as a girl, with a female body. That's sad but it makes sence (re: females dumping their friends due to becoming mothers). That's just the reason why I'm not having children.
I applied for a community college and when males sign up for college to get finiancial aide, there is this thing they have to sign up for called the Collective Service, I think it is without going to Google it real quick, and for an obvious reason. I did not want to sign up... UNTIL I read a warning that they will toss me in jail if I fail to do so. So, then I did it anyway and that too angered me that I had to do so. But best believe I ain't joining JACK! Well, this is community college I'm going to so I won't have dorms but when I go to real college, I'mma find me a college that would allow intermingling gender of students in dorms. I heard that there are some but very few. Well... my mom told me one time that I'm going to be in a college dorms with males as she emphasized and guess what my response "Well, guess what? I guess I ain't going to college then!"... Just like that! And the unimproving "mmm!" was her only response.
I used to be in that going-to-extremes mindset, and then God helped me get away from that. I hated the idea of doing anything male, but now I see how little all that matters. We are all created in God's image, whether male or female. God would not love you any more if you were biologically female. He created you exactly as you are.
When you go to college, there's no rule saying you have to live in the dorms. I didn't. I lived at home throughout my college career. Even if you had to live with guys, it would still only be a few years. God could still keep you company--when the Israelites were in exile, they brought soil from their homeland with them so they could pray over it while in captivity.
I really think you should pray about your gender problems--that really helped me. Ask God anything you have, and be open to whatever comes to mind. If it's not something you could have thought of on your own, it's probably God answering.
Don't expect God to solve everything right away. It took months for the pain of my gender problems to go away.
I'm glad you're getting a book of Bible stories. It will help you understand what the faith is all about. You might also want to look into children's books explaining who God is and what He is like.
Good luck, and may God bless you.
As far as I'm certain, we all came into the previous, as well as this incarnation with some kind of blueprint with what's going to happen and the kinds of lives we will live preplanned. Usually all that is done in the Spirit World before coming here, but I'm working on mine now. Only because I have been talking to God about this and I can not count the times I have prayed and begged that I come back a female. And not only that, I want to be reborn in a certain location, be a certain ethinicity, live certain places, and attend certain schools, this that the other. I know this all seems like a lot but a lot I left undecided.
Oh and get this: No, I don't have down that this lifetime would be oh-so-faboulous, I don't have any problems or whatever. No. Surprisingly, I do have down a few things that I want to undergo and some lessons I would like to be faced with. One of them being that a certain person would do a certain something with me, to me at a young age. I'm not yet comfortable going into detail as to what it is, but it is something that's serious enough to land the perpretrator in jail (it's not violence-related). But it concerns me a little because of the kind of consequence that will befall that person. I trust that since God knows way more than I do, and It must have a good reason for my wanting this to happen in that life. I would like for this expereince to fall into place, much less so this certain person getting locked away for this incident, but I just wanna throw out there that I would much rather go through this than that.
I will surrender my intentions for the manifestation of my next incarnation with the Creator, and let It fill in the rest of the details that I've left undecided. I'll just let go, do updates as I feel nessasary and let God take it over from there.
I'm sure quite a lot of people will say that the events that we go through are just the luck of the draw, it's all up to fate or whathaveyou, there is no attraction and this-that-the-other. Well, I'm just thinking of the possibility of somebody else knowing about my project and telling me the same thing, that I don't get to decide what happens in my next life, and you know what? Those people can kiss my arse. I know otherwise.
Well, let me tell you this story: my mother used to tell me about events happen for a reason and that it's all up to fate. I would always get the "if it's not meant to happen, it won't happen no matter how bad you want it to or pray for it to," bullsh*t. I wasn't willing to accept it because I had a different belief. Then, I started to believe it and become even more angrier at God. Then, I defeated that with "well, if God's not gonna give me what I want, then Satan will. Either way, I win!" I kind of resent myself for falling into that belief because I have a mind of my own. I knew better but yetI was just convinced for that moment in time that it was all the luck of the draw. Life is full of choices. In that case, I made a bad one and it won't be made again.
So yeah, reguardless of what the people say, I'm still continuing with the blueprint project.
Another thing that I'm working on in the background is this painting, of myself of what I would look like in that lifetime. In this painting, I'm like 8 or 9 months pregnant. I'm sitting at a bench turning away from my father (probably because I am, or will be, mad at him for handling how he discovered, or will discover, my pregnancy) who is right there with me.
Thanks a lot for praying for me and checking in on me. I really appreciate it. As far as the other things go, I'm taking different turns. This isn't as bad as it seems. I've just decided against joining the Christianity thing but however, I will be sure that I redeem myself for my sins and I've even decided to keep a journal. I haven't yet found a good church. But I have began a relationship with God through my prayers even though I took a break from talking to It for the past few nights. I know all this helped you, but I believe God is showing me a new direction of things and I'm following in that direction that I feel that would help me better. Things are going quite slow with me and it may be a while before I start going to church.
Not trying to imply that this project or my painting are more important than my relationship with the Creator, but I'm just taking my time with things.
I meant what I said though about wanting to only live a short life. I mean, I do feel a little bit better about going through what I'm going through but I'm not completely healed, never will be, and never want to. The sooner this is over and done with, the better.
We Christians believe that redemption comes through Jesus. If that link I sent you about the guy who dreamed about Jesus redeeming his sins is too long, I'll give you the short version. Joshua Harris had a dream in which he was in a room with a card catalog of every sin he had ever committed, with his name on each one. He was filled with terror and didn't want anyone to see the room. Then Jesus appeared and signed His name with His own blood on each card. That's how we see Jesus. He died on that cross to pay for our sins, because every person deserves Hell for all the sins we do. (People before Jesus could still go to Heaven because He is God, and God is eternal.)
Whatever you decide to do, I'm so happy that you now have a relationship with God. Whatever happens, never let go of Him.
It sounds like this project will help you in your present life. I did something similar--I tried to write a story taking place in my imaginary transgender-friendly country Daruny. It never got off the ground, but the thought experiment helped me see gender much more clearly. Still, wouldn't you rather go to Heaven than live the life you're imagining for yourself? I know I would.
The events we go through are not random or due to "fate." Fate is not a Christian idea; Muslims and Hindus believe that everything that happens is God's will, and if you try to change anything, you're going against fate and hence against God. Unfortunately, many Christians see things this way too, even though such things are not taught by the Bible. The problem with this view is that it discourages Christian kindness--why help a poor person if God made her poor? That's why Mother Teresa had such a hard time in India--she had to overcome their religious prejudices in order to help their poor.
And we certainly do not choose our lives beforehand. I am under no illusions that I am wise enough to choose the kind of life that's best for me. Only God knows what's best for me.
In reality, God is in control. Your mom is right that He does not always answer our prayers, and I'm glad He says no sometimes. "And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul." (Psalm 106:15, NKJV) In other words, sometimes God answers our prayers, but it turns out that what we prayed for is exactly what we didn't want, or we can only have that prayer answered at a huge price (a pyrrhic victory, if you will). For more on this theme, I think you should watch Bruce Almighty.
Oh, and Satan cannot answer your prayers. God is so much more powerful than Satan. If God doesn't want to grant your prayer, He certainly won't let Satan do so. Satan is an evil angel, and angels are a higher life-form, one that is pure spirit (people don't turn into angels upon arriving in Heaven), but they are as subject to God's will as we are.
I'm glad you feel better about what you're going through, but I'm a bit concerned about you saying, "I'm not completely healed, never will be, and never want to." Why would you not want to be completely healed? Do you actually like going through all this torture? If so, then what's the problem?
If you're frustrated that you aren't healed yet, give it time. It took me six months of praying about my own gender-based difficulties to be healed of all the major stuff. Seeing pregnant women no longer makes me sad; my dreams have changed from being about doing all the things I could only do as a woman to being about meeting God; I am now willing to commit to getting along better with men ("...there is neither male nor female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus" --Galatians 3:28); body envy is no longer so strong as to drive me crazy; plus many, many more benefits! The only aspect I have trouble with now is the lack of female friends (my mom is my only friend--it would be nice to have one who isn't also my mom), but God is helping me with even this. Just keep on praying--but instead of asking God for things, ask Him questions. Ask Him why He made you male, how you can heal around this issue, etc. If you have a thought that could not have come from you, it's most likely from God. He will help you as He has helped me.
What I do is imagine God right next to me. I picture Him as a ten-foot-tall Gandalf--how do you picture Him? My best prayer time is when I'm walking out in the woods, in His creation. If you can't get to the woods, go to a room where you will be alone, close your eyes, and imagine yourself walking with Him in a calming natural scene--the beach, the woods, the prairie, wherever.
I will continue to pray for you.
You know how when people say "Oh, God is good!" and this and that! Well, not in my case. Not in the case of the homeless, the poor, and the people It let suffer, the kids It let be bullied, and all this other garbage. And I'm sure you're gonna sit there and tell me It has a good reason for doing those things but how about if God finds a better way to teach It's children things instead of letting people suffer. Since It's all-knowing, all-powerful and all, It can do it, unless It's punishing those people via Karma's Law that is because what I'm going through now, I would certainly wish upon my mother after she called me all kinds of freaks, and faggots just for my being transgender. I don't care if she fed me, provided for me and all that, if I have to have a mother like her, I'd rather not have a mother period!
I'm fine with God being in control and all, but I'll wait until It blesses me with the kind of life I want for myself, then I'll rave and go on about how good God is! Oh, and you know how people say "be careful what you wish for?" Well, you're probably wanting to say that to me. If you are, I'm here to tell you and God straight up that I am sure that this is what I want and I am 100% positive about it!
"And we certainly do not choose our lives beforehand." And how exactly do you know that? If that's true, and if It decides against making me a girl in the future lives that that gives me another reason to resent God right there. So I guess God isn't that "good" as people say It is after all, now is It? I also like that you said you're under no illusion that you think you're wise enough to pick a life that's best for you. Well, guess what? Neither am I. As I said before, I'm just filling in the pieces I want and letting God take over the rest.
Actually, I don't know that I am feeling better about going through what I'm going through. I think I'm back at the point where I'm resenting God again. What I meant about not wanting to be healed was that I just don't ever want to get to the point where I'll be so okay with having a male body and then start identifying as a male and then becoming masculine. No, I don't, never did, and never will like or appreciate going through all this torture.
I just got finished watching Bruce Almighty. It was an okay movie with an interesting concept that I could so relate to. However, if God really does have that kind of audacity to prevent me from achieving the things I want seeing how bent I am on achieving it, that I find it kind of pathetic how It would do that and not so pathetic that I would resent It and not want to stay in a relationship with It. So is God that good after all?
I appreciate you praying for me and all but I wonder, seeing my current circumstances, is it really working, you think? I mean, they say only ask once when you ask God something but all this talk about God being in control and this and that, I'm loosing faith and that's the worst thing you can do in a relationship with God, is loose faith.
Different Christian denominations believe different things about salvation, but we Catholics believe that you don't have to be Christian to be saved, as long as you live a good moral life as though you were Christian. Look to the Ten Commandments. The first few deal with loving God--non-Christians don't have to keep the Sabbath, but since you know who God is, you should love Him above all else. The rest deal with loving your neighbor as yourself--honor your parents, don't kill, don't commit adultery (which we believe includes sex outside of marriage), don't steal, don't lie, and don't covet (because it leads to stealing and adultery).
When I became Catholic, I didn't accept all the beliefs at first. But I was ready to go along with the Church, because I believed in it. Even if there were no evidence for Christianity, I would still believe in it as a moral system and a culture. Similarly, you can believe in it as a way to learn about God and connect with Him. My mom says I've improved a lot since becoming Catholic, and it wasn't anyone convincing me by argument that changed me; it was my relationship with God. I cultivated a strong prayer life (that was my priest's advice), and that's done wonders for me. The pain is mostly gone, but that doesn't mean I'm ever going to become masculine. Even when I've been tempted to do so (because it would make me normal), I feel that God has cautioned me against it. He made me male, with a female brain and heart. Ignoring one side is as bad as ignoring the other. I will most likely never be fully comfortable with a male body.
If you don't think Christianity will help you, what do you think will help you? I've given up vices, become less angry and more tolerant to people with differing views (though I still need work in this area), overcome my deep sadness about being transgender, and become much happier overall, all because I have a relationship with God through the Catholic religion, which gives me a clear view that helps me in times of confusion.
It sounds to me like you're still struggling with the problem of suffering. There is a lot of suffering in the world. That's because our world is sinful. We believe that it is sinful because Adam and Eve disobeyed God back in the Garden of Eden. Just as people can pass on STDs, genetic defects, and drug addictions, Adam and Eve passed on their sin addictions. All of us have sinned, except Jesus.
I don't think you understand what Heaven is. It's a place where there is absolutely NO suffering! Anything you need to be happy, you can have. The best part is, we get to live there FOREVER--none of this "it was fun while it lasted" garbage! When we have really happy times in our lives, those are little tastes of Heaven. Randy Alcorn (the guy who wrote If God Is Good, my favorite book on this problem) argues that the joys of heaven will compensate for the sufferings on earth. He writes, "Without this eternal perspective, we assume that people who die young, who have handicaps, who suffer poor health, who don't get married or have children, or who don't do this or that will miss out on the best life has to offer. But the theology underlying these assumptions have a fatal flaw. It presumes that our present Earth, bodies, culture, relationships and lives are all there is." So, you'll get to be female in Heaven!
Here's another part of the solution: due to our limited knowledge, humans cannot expect to understand God or God's ultimate plan. When a parent takes an infant to the doctor for a regular vaccination to prevent some childhood disease, it's because the parent cares for and loves that child. The young child however will almost always see things very differently. It is argued that just as an infant cannot possibly understand the motives of its parent while it is still only a child, people cannot comprehend God's will in their current physical and earthly state. So when you ask God, "Why me?," He might very well say, "You'll thank Me someday."
Catholic writer Peter Kreeft, in his book Making Sense of Suffering, provides several answers to this problem, including that a) God may use short-term evils for long-range goods, b) God created the possibility of evil, but not the evil itself, and that free will was necessary for the highest good of real love--Kreeft says that being all-powerful doesn't mean being able to do what is logically contradictory, e.g., giving freedom with no potentiality for sin (we Catholics believe that purgatory purges our sins from us--hence the name--and so must be done before we go to Heaven), c) God's own suffering and death on the cross (as Jesus) brought about his supreme triumph over the devil, d) God uses suffering to bring about moral character, quoting apostle Paul in Romans 5, e) Suffering can bring people closer to God, and f) The ultimate "answer" to suffering is Jesus Himself, who, more than any explanation, is our real need.
It's also important to know that there is no sum of human suffering. As C.S. Lewis said, if there are two people with toothaches in a dentist's waiting room, and x is the amount of pain in each toothache, you might say the amount of suffering in the room is 2x, but no one is feeling 2x amount of pain--no one is feeling both toothaches.
If I were not suffering, I might not have seen the need to come to God. I was in a really bad place then. All my attempts at finding a young woman I could be like sisters with--or any friend aside from my mom, for that matter--had fallen flat. My attempts at finding a full-time teaching job failed just as miserably. I was beginning to see how I was not in control of my life, as much as I wanted to be. I may have free will, but that doesn't mean I can do whatever I want. I have the free will to try to get pregnant, for example, but that doesn't mean I'll be successful--free will is simply irrelevant. This was a very humbling experience, and so it opened me up to the idea that God is in control of my life. It also helped me realize how futile and empty our earthly pursuits are (the book of Ecclesiastes is all about this theme). My mom and I were retreating from the world into our home; we were seeing a future in which all we did was work, come home, and watch TV together with our pets--with no purpose other than to wait for the end together. That's when God brought us into the Church.
After natural disasters, rates of conversion to Christianity skyrocket, for pretty much the same reason. As sinful creatures, tainted by Adam and Eve's original sin, we don't learn anything from the happy times (except, as I mentioned, a taste of what Heaven is like), and we don't think we need God at those times.
Also, have you considered that God may be preventing 99.99999% of the evil in the world? For us, any evil is too much.
The fact that you use your mother as an analogy suggests to me that you see God as being mean like her. Lots of people who don't believe in God have parents who don't seem to love them much. From your description of her, I'm sure someone like that will go to Hell--and Jesus taught that both Heaven and Hell are real places. I know exactly how you feel about your mother--I felt that way about other kids in the K-12 years, who treated me much the same way.
I know that we do not choose our lives beforehand because the Catholic Church, which is guided by the Holy Spirit, says that God creates each soul and infuses an embryo with it at conception; because Psalm 139 says, "You formed my inmost being; You knit me in my mother's womb" (verse 13). Both Scripture and the Catholic Church (which put the Bible together) have Jesus's approval, and there's lots of evidence that Jesus was God incarnate (you have to watch The Case for Christ). Since we don't exist before conception, how can we choose what kind of lives we have? And even if we did choose, why would you choose all this suffering you go through?
Just because you're bent on achieving a thing doesn't mean that it's good for you. Look at drug addicts and all the awful things they do to themselves and others to get their next fix. And you can ask God something as much as you want--He won't mind. And not all suffering is bad. I'm asking you a lot of hard questions, some of which obviously make you uncomfortable. I'm not doing it to torture you; I'm doing this because I care about you. I'm doing this because I want you to find happiness in spite of your suffering by trusting in God as I have. You might not like some of what I have to say, but does that mean I'm not good? Of course not. It means I know more of what I'm talking about than you do--I've spent hours reading about this problem and talking to other Christians about it, and I've gone through some pain myself over the issue even after converting (from hearing about some of the horrible things that went on in the Holocaust).
Since you have difficulty reading long passages, I thought you might like to watch some videos on the subject.
http://www.leestrobel.com/ --lots of videos about Christianity and God. This is the guy who wrote The Case for Christ, which is full of evidence for the truth of Christianity. Even if you decide not to be Christian, I think you should watch these. You can even ask Lee Strobel a question!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVD5-fF_VmA&feature=related --Lee Strobel talking about the problem of suffering
http://www.leestrobel.com/videoserver/video.php?clip=strobelT1212 --Another video about the problem of suffering; this guy is saying some of the same stuff I'm saying.
http://www.leestrobel.com/videoserver/video.php?clip=strobelT1208 --same guy as the above video
http://www.youtube.com/user/eternalperspectives Randy Alcorn's YouTube channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltNhurbTork&feature=channel_video_title The God Who Brings Good Out of Bad--Randy Alcorn again
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6Hn_EyOt5I&feature=channel_video_title To Those Who Have Given Up On Church --same guy
If you have any questions about anything you hear on these videos, please ask me. Whatever you do, don't lose faith. Hold on tightly to God, and don't let go. I will continue praying for you.
When you mentioned the Ten Commandements, are you refering to that long claymated movie that seems to air on ABC every now and then? I never paid attention to it when it would air, but if you're suggesting that I watch it, I guess i'll stick around and look at it.
It's not that I don't believe in God. I do. I've just been questioning if It's as good as people say It is.
I actually had to go Google the definition of "covet" to learn that with its two definitions combined, it basically means to wish for something so eagerly, so desperately, the wisher would be willing to resort to crime or evil without reguards to the good of those concerned if it meant acquiring it. I just learned a new word. Thanks again.
So, anyhow, I must ask, in honoring your parents--now don't get me wrong. I'm not condoning children disrespecting their parents, but how do you show respect to your parents who torment you and call you names, just for the "crime" of being homosexual or transgender or whateverhaveyou? Did you see Precious? If Precious' mom was your mom, would you honor a mom like her? If this question were aimed at me and I owned a mom like that, my responce would be "Like Hell, I wouldn't!" Secondly, I could be wrong, but I think you missed one--don't use profanity. As I said in one of the past messages, I'm not really a profanity user, except for the very few rare occasions where I've said "f*ck", "sh*t", called somebody a "b*tch", and the even fewer where I've slipped. What I didn't tell you was this--that one time in my younger years I was reading... I can't for the life of me remember what I was reading but it wasn't the Bible, but I've read somewhere that (or at lease, I recall reading that) Christians don't swear. In that case, then does that imply that non-Christians can swear? Don't think so. And it was not that I was following Christianity at the time (I recall actually wanting to be one during my grade 5 year, then dropped it), it's just that swearing just isn't a part of my nature. I don't mind hearing it, I just rather not say it, you feel me?
And is ignoring the male aspects about me and just accepting and working with the female pieces really that bad though? Like... you told me about this even before and I'm just like... curious to know how much of an atrocity that really is.
What I also forgot to cover (in the last e-mail I sent before this one) is this:
It's not that I mean disrespect against God, and I say that because all this ranting and blasphemy (I guess it's called, I didn't wanna use this term because it's so disrepsectful but I failed to be able to find a better word) against God over not giving me a female body, I talked about with my mom who had the nerve to say I'm disrespecting It when I do. Then I recall replying... "Well, God disrespected me by not making me a girl... don'tchathink?"
Mom: "God knows what He's doing!"
Me: "Don't care."
Mom: (nods in shame) "Mmm! That is so selfish..."
Me: "Selfish? Let me tell you what's selfish--giving somebody a disorder that would cause a sever inconvience to that person. And you're calling me, the victim, selfish for wanting it corrected? You crazy."
Yep... I've been, and still am, that desperate for a female body that I'd rather actually catch STD from somebody (well, I mean, I think it's a pain-free death anyway, and you could have it right this second and not have a clue you're infected... unless you get tested that is). But yeah, I've been that desperate and have been coveting a female body... that I have gone that far and was willing to go even further.
And I like that you even mentioned the Adam and Eve prophecy because my mother, when she first found me out in December of '04, tried to use the "Be glad you're male because God created Adam before Eve," mess to justify why I shouldn't want to be a girl which I'm still a little p/o-ed about because if that was the case, don't you think all the females in the world (who knew, cared, and believed that) would be transgender? I didn't give two craps back then, I wish I would've told her that but I covered this in my book, and I don't give two craps now.
Soe once again call forth the topic of Heaven, and in you mentioning the living there forever thing, now I have to ask or rather challenge that because what about passing from this incarnation, for example, and then going through the afterlife process, and coming into a new incarnation? That don't sound much like forever to me. I asked a question related to this on this spirituality message board in this thread (I'm "Roaring Thunder" there) http://www.spiritualforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=3848 (page 40). And the responce he (or she if "Spirit Guide Sparrow" is a woman) gave me was this:
"Your existence will continue in the spirit world just in the same form as you currently have, or will have at the time of your passing. It is only until your awareness returns that you can manipulate your appearance by focusing your thoughts that this eventually changes. You do this by holding the thought clear in your mind and letting go of the previous persona. When you realize the substance of your etheric form is merely the residual cellular memory of your physical body you will then perceive it as a sort of outfit, which you will choose to wear from time to time, most often to reminisce with friends of the Earth. Should you so wish, and with assistance from other beings, you may choose to take the form of an animal, or a tree, or a mystical fairytale character, or an extraterrestrial. You will simply implant your personality within that chosen form. I suspect once you pass over you will care not as much in what gender or sexuality you hold, for it will always depend on the intention of service you are undertaking. It will no longer be about you, but about what you can do for others. Since you would no longer have the biological makeup of human anatomy it would be quite a feat for anyone to become pregnant, would it not?"
So yeah. Not saying that they're right and you're wrong, or even the reverse. But that's why I'm not so sure or excited about the whole Heaven thing.
I so agree on the part where you were telling me last night about God putting me through this for something I'll end up thanking It for when it's all over and that humans are blind compared to what God Itself can see, especially where you said It would be saying "Well, you'll thank me later." I'm here to challenge that because I highly doubt that I'll ever appreciate God putting me through what It's putting me through now. Even after my book popularity does skyrocket, becomes a bestseller, and be adapted into a movie, and even after becoming the highly-acclaimed actress, I still won't be surprised if afterwards I'm telling God, "No disrespect intended, but I don't appreciate you giving me a male form and never will."
Another thing I forgot to tell you was this: If you really want something, there must be a good reason for it, and in that, you ask for it or pray for it that you acquire it "in accordance with the Divine Will, and the free will, and highest and greatest good of myself and all those concerned. I have Adrian Calabrese to thank for this theory because I have a copy of her book "How to Get Everything You Ever Wanted". One book I recommend.
"It's also important to know that there is no sum of human suffering." Why do you say that? No! Hold that thought! Was it because I mention and blazae about the severity of my being transgender? Well, I am. I am suffering a great deal that this, way more than you are. As for the toothache thing, you can't physically feel what another living being is going though anyway, so that makes sence right there.
I could totally understand there being negativity so that we can not only appreciate the good, and that we can form relationships with God and Lord Jesus, (as most of us treat a relationship with God like It's a 911 hotline anyway, we only go to It when in an emergency), but again in the severity of the suffering, all I can say is that there is a lot I would much rather go through. HOWEVER! I appreciate more than anything else, that God didn't make me blind. That would be even worse... in my opinion anyways. If there's anything I find worse than being transgender, it's being blind. In having a female brain as you put it, I'd handsdown, rather have a male body with vision, than to have a female body without vision, you feel me?
In line of that, if what you're saying is true about the incarnation thing, I guess all I can do now is pray and hope that God just so happen to decide It will make me female in the next incarnation, in accordance with Its Divine Will, and in the highest good of all concerned, that is. And I've watched some of those videos. I'll still hold on, I suppose. Thanks a lot.
1) Don't worship anything but God.
2) Don't misuse God's name (for example: "God damn it!" or "God made me do this evil thing.")
3) Keep the Sabbath day holy.
4) Honor your parents. (All this means is that you have to respect that they brought you into the world and raised you--this doesn't mean you have to like them.)
5) Don't kill.
6) Don't commit adultery.
7) Don't steal.
8) Don't lie.
9) Don't covet someone else's spouse or significant other.
10) Don't covet other people's stuff.
We Catholics split the coveting commandment so that we can group 6 and 9 together and group 7 and 10 together, because adultery and theft start with coveting.
It's interesting that you wanted to be Christian... it sounds to me like you still want to, but are having trouble getting past the problem of suffering. You feel that God has been mean to you by not making you a girl. Underneath this is an assumption that your life would be much better if you were a girl. But since that is not reality, there is no way to know what your life would be like. Why not ask God for a realistic answer to that question?
It's not exactly an atrocity to ignore the male part of yourself, it's just a mistake--like ignoring the female part of yourself would be. It leads to things like you preferring to catch an STD and die rather than go on. (If you need a reason not to covet, there it is!) If you accept that being male is God's plan for your life, and that He has very good reasons for doing so, then it can give you the courage to go on until God calls you back to Heaven. Suicide is a mortal sin that can lead to Hell. And STDs are NOT a pain-free death! Just go to a hospital and find an AIDS patient.
As for the stuff about Adam and Eve, I don't worry too much about the symbolism in Genesis. All I know is that 1) God created humans in His image, which is male and female, 2) God started the human race with one man and one woman, both of whom disobeyed Him and gave the world sin and death, and 3) scientific evidence suggests, but does not necessarily prove, that this happened thousands of years ago rather than millions (check out the videos at www.drdino.com for more). The thing creation science taught me was that God created the universe specially for us, which means He really does care about us, even though He's the one who made all the stars and galaxies.
Just out of curiosity, where did you learn about transgender people? I first heard the phrase "a woman in a man's body" in a movie when I was 13.
OK, now for the stuff from the Spiritual Forums. Christian theologians are divided on the issue of the nature of life after death. Some believe you're stuck with your body forever (I call this the "Sorry Danny DeVito" school of thought), while others maintain that anything--ANYTHING--you need to be happy in Heaven, you can have. And we don't believe in reincarnation (there are lots of other explanations for the evidence), so, yes, Heaven is forever! The person who answered is clearly not a Christian. She (everyone for me is female until proven otherwise) is probably a New Ager, like you. The New Age religion contains many beliefs that we see as heresy, i.e. they flatly contradict Christian doctrine. Our beliefs about life after death were taught by Jesus Himself (or are based on those teachings), and there is ample historical evidence (I repeat: watch The Case for Christ or the videos at leestrobel.com for more!) that He was God incarnate. So of course you're not excited about Heaven--you're being taught erroneous ideas about it, so you don't really know what Heaven is!
I do not doubt that you are suffering way more than I am. That's why I'm trying so hard to show you how healing a relationship with God--the God whose nature was taught by Jesus--can be. I'm glad you'd rather be transgender than blind--that's a step in the right direction. There are people for whom this is not true. I was part of a transgender forum a long time ago, and when asked the question, "Would you rather be stuck in a body of the wrong sex or stuck in a squalid prison?," they unanimously preferred prison, hands down. You're way ahead of them, which is why I see that there is hope for you.
The thing that seems to be the biggest obstacle for you is the question of why God made you transgender. I don't have an answer to that one, because I am not God. I've searched online, and other transgender people don't seem to know why God made them that way either. We can only guess. I'm guessing God made me transgender because my mom doesn't like girls at all, because He wants me to be celibate and do His work instead of marrying and having children (it was the transgender issue that first made me seriously consider celibacy), and because He wants me to help other transgender people like you. (My site has already saved four people from transitioning--since that's a mortal sin, I may have saved their souls!) But instead of shutting Him out because He made you transgender, why not talk to Him about it? Tell Him you're angry about it, and ask Him to help you trust Him.
It's important to accept God's will. What kind of God would we have if He let all us fallible human beings change his plan by praying? We may not always understand His will, but we must trust that He knows best. Imagine if, when you meet God, you ask Him angrily why He made you transgender, and then He tells you, and then you feel really stupid, because the reason He gives makes absolutely perfect sense. Just because you don't know the reason doesn't mean it's not a good one!
I hope all this is helpful. Keep watching those videos!
"It's interesting that you wanted to be Christian... it sounds to me like you still want to, but are having trouble getting past the problem of suffering."
You could say that... although I never looked at it that way. This is a question I'm not nessasarly expecting you to have an answer to but I feel I'mma ask anyway. Is it suicide to ask to only live a short life? I would really not be here in this life any longer than I have to. I'm not going to say that my life would be better if I was physically a girl, because I don't know that, even though it's my preference. I haven't been talking to God about it lately because I have a lot of things I want to speak to It about, as far as my being transgender goes. And I probably should've used Carbon Monoxide ingestion as an example, for the painless death thing.
I think that maybe God made me transgender so I could show the world that transgender people aren't so bad and ugly after all! That, being why It worked through me into writing this book. To answer your question, I'm not really sure. I don't remember where I heard or learned the term. The best thing I remember is my mom telling me about being so when I was 14... after she found me out, of course.
When you said "we don't believe in reincarnation", do you mean "we" as in you Christian people? I do, even when I become Christian. The reason why I believed the person teaching people about the afterlife at the website was because they've answered a lot of questions related to the afterlife, so I assumed she knew a lot. But you as well, sound like you know what you're talking about when it comes to the Heaven stuff.
The transgender forum you were refering to wouldn't happen to be susans.org, would it? I can be found under "Diamond" there, but I only have like, two posts and I haven't been there in a long time. As for the people who would rather be locked in the squalid prison than in a body of the wrong gender, I don't blame them. I do not know which one I would choose but it is uplifting for someone to commend me on my preference to rather be transgender than blind, and to know I'm ahead of the people who picked the squalid prison.
I, quite a few times, heard people say, "Oh, I don't question God." And I take it people would find it disrespectful against it to do so. Why? Those people who say that must not be suffering at all to feel that way. Not that I'm condoning any disrespect to God, of course, but it just leads me to wonder what the harm is in questioning God. You're right! I do question why It gave me a male body instead of a female body. Short story: I happen to be going to my local convienent store. This man was coming in behind me with this little girl (I take it this was obviously his daughter), and he held the door as I held the door for both of them because she looked so adorable and I've always thought about if I could be that young again (I know I will be in Heaven or in the next life) but in a female body like hers. I mean, I'm not some kind of... you know, I'd rather not go there. I'm not attracted to litlle girls or anything, but she looked really cute and I've been contemplating... if only I could've been her at however old she is now. I question that too! Well, not "too" as I'm talking about the same thing but still...
I'm a little more willing to than I have been but I'mma be quite honest with you and tell you that it's a little bit of a challenge to accept God's Will... or is it? Say you ask God that your daughter recovers from cancer and gets her brain tumor removed, and It tells you, "Nope! Sorry! Not part of My will." Consindering how much you would love your daughter, wouldn't it be hard for you to care a bit about God's will when it came to her being five minutes away from death? But then what if you asked God for her recovery in accordance to Its will in the highest good of all concerned? Then It might say "Yeah, let me work something out here..."'
You mention that your site prevented four people from transitioning. You can count me as the fifth because I doubt I'm transitioning... unless getting my penis removed counts. We once again speak about why it's a sin. Why is it a sin? It should be no different than if I was born with an inappropriate number of fingers or toes and I undergo surgery to get them fixed. I know you always disageed with me when I compared being transgender with birth defects. May I ask why? I remember you asked me why it was so important that I get a female body. Well, you could say that's why.
I also remember you saying how much you hated doing anything male-related but now you find it petty because God helped you through it, and also that God would love me no less if I was male or female. But that's not the part I'm worried about. I'm more worried about the physical body I'm piloting.
This anology fits my case because I'd be able to travel the world if someone paid me money each time I begged God to make me a girl in my next incarnation, and the only reason why I've been losing faith is that it might not be a part of God's plan. So, after I finish my blueprint, I;ll ask that it happens in accordance to Its will, and if It makes any changes or whathaveyou to my blueprint, I'll accept that as long as I return with a female body, same race as I am now. And I say all this under the assuption that I don't think I'll make it to Heaven, and will have to return here. Not because I want to, just that I don't think I've earned my way into Heaven at this rate.
I'm glad you see me as knowing a lot about Heaven. The problem is that a lot of people seem to know what they're talking about, but two contradictory ideas cannot both be true. They can both be wrong, or only one can be right, but both can't be right. If at least one must be true, then either one is true or the other is. For example, either we reincarnate, or we don't. Either Jesus was the Son of God, or He wasn't. Either you can have whatever body you want in Heaven, or you can't.
There are Christians who believe in reincarnation, but they ignore some of Jesus's teachings to do so. (I'm so glad you've said "when I become Christian" instead of "if I become Christian!") But that doesn't mean you have to give up this belief the minute you become Christian. It took me about a month or so; when I read the Catechism of the Catholic Church (which will only apply to you if you decide to become Catholic) for the first time, I saw the part that forbids belief in reincarnation. I prayed about it, and the answer I got was 1) don't worry about the afterlife, and 2) there are other explanations for "past life memories." For example, three years ago, I had a very realistic dream about being a girl I knew from school, experiencing a bit of her life. It was like those "past life memories" you hear about, except I was a living person in the then-present. But that doesn't mean she and I are the same soul. I now think that dream was a revelation from God, even though I didn't believe in Him then.
As for the topic of questioning God, it depends on what you mean. You can ask God anything you want. But questioning God's authority, His goodness, and similar things, while not sinful, can lead to a loss of faith, which is the one thing you don't want. I totally understand the thing about seeing a little girl (or female human of any age) and wishing to be her. But such wishes are not fulfillable (except in Heaven). We often have no choice but to accept God's will, because He is God. We can pray to Him, but we cannot change His plan. In your hypothetical example in which I have a daughter (in reality, I've chosen celibacy), losing a child is indeed the most horrible thing a parent can experience, but if God wants to call her to Heaven, there's nothing I can do; that's been His plan all along, whether or not I prayed. (Prayer is really for us to acknowledge our dependence on God.) I would have some difficulty staying close to Him, but I would not want to let go of the only one who could really help me. The first thing I would do is call my priest and talk to him about what I'm going through.
You're right, it is often a challenge to accept God's will. I have always wanted a female friend my age with whom I could be like sisters--I had one in preschool and kindergarten, but we ended up going to different schools, and I spent the next 20 years trying to have that again with someone else. But I failed time after time. I was never successful. I now see that this is because it wasn't God's will--if I had such a friend, I might never have seen the need to come to God. And now that I'm at the age where women start to get married, the outlook for that isn't so good. It took me six months after coming to God to accept this. It was a sad thing, but on the other hand, it was a relief to finally accept it as God's will.
I don't know about other Christian denominations, but we Catholics consider "sex change" surgery (we also consider "sex change" to be an oxymoron, but that's what it is usually called) to be sin because it takes a perfectly functioning organ and renders it useless for its intended purposes and is thus mutilation, which is forbidden: "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) You can have medical procedures to remove defective organs (e.g. appendectomy), but not to mutilate your genitals. Again, this is just the Catholic perspective.
By the way, one last detail: You can't earn your way into Heaven: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) You can commit a mortal sin and not be eligible for Heaven until you truly repent (which you must do before death), but you don't earn your way into Heaven. And people who don't make it into Heaven don't reincarnate. Most who do make it in have to go through purgatory first (that's the Catholic perspective, again--Protestants use the pass/fail system where everyone goes to Heaven or Hell immediately), and those whose sins are so great that even purgatory won't work have to go to Hell. They choose Hell through their rejection of all that God is (God is love (1 John 4:8)), because such people would be as miserable in Heaven as in Hell. After all, an evil person like Hitler would hate the infinite good that Heaven is. (Don't worry, I can tell that you don't hate God, you're just angry. That's different. All those who hate God love death (Proverbs 8:36), and I can tell that you're a moral person.)
Christian beliefs vary between (and often within) denominations, so once you decide to be Christian, you might want to shop around for a church to join. There are 1,500 denominations in the United States alone.
I hope you can accept that God loves you and made you transgender for a very good reason. I will continue praying for you.
In the case of two people's believes contradicting each other, then how do you decide whose side to be on? How can you tell if one's right over the other? As for the topic of Heaven itself, I learned, or so I was that if bad things didn't happen here on Earth, then it would be kind of boring here if you think about it. Bad things happen, I believe, so we can appreciate the good. And you mention that Heaven makes up for our suffering here on Earth so anything we need to be happy we can have. I was going to somethings and moments I've enjoyed from this life. Only thing stopping me is that I don't wanna fall in the "Oh, this dream may or may not be achievable here, so I'll just wait until I get to Heaven," trap.
The way I decide which side to believe is to look at the evidence on both sides and look at how well each side deals with the other side's evidence. For example, Dr. Kent Hovind ( www.drdino.com ) has lots of evidence that the Earth and the universe are thousands of years old rather than billions--some of the evidence is strong, some of it is weak. Most of it can be answered effectively by skeptics, but some of it, not so well. For example, he showed evidence that short-period comets can't last more than 10,000 years, and yet they still exist, so our solar system must be under 10,000 years old. Skeptics say they're replenished by a cometary cloud surrounding our solar system. Dr. Hovind points out that no direct evidence has been observed, and the best anyone can come up with to that is, "It is up to you to prove that this cometary cloud does not exist."
By contrast, the other side points to radiometric dating and the geologic column to "prove" that the Earth is 4.6 billion years old, but Dr. Hovind has shown that radiometric dating doesn't work when checked against things of known age, that it gives wildly differing results for the same thing (one part of a mammoth was carbon-dated to 20,000 years ago, another part to 40,000 years ago), and that scientists admit it would not work without the geologic column--which was simply made up by Charles Lyell because he hated Christianity! (In practice, scientists date fossils by the rocks in which they are found, and then they date rocks by the fossils found in them--this is circular reasoning!)
Your question implies that you believe things that contradict each other. Is this correct? If so, how can two mutually exclusive statements be true?
You say you don't want to give up on dreams and wait until Heaven to make them come true, but unfortunately, sometimes that has to happen. When I was your age, I thought I could make all my dreams come true if I just worked at it. But sometimes it's not possible. In those cases, we have no choice but to wait until we get to Heaven (assuming we actually get there). For example, you and I will never become pregnant, unless medical science finds a way to make it happen. Short of discovering this way, there is nothing you or I can do to change the fact that only biological females can become pregnant.
I do still hold the dream of being female even though it's not possible in this life. There is more to being female than just being pregnant. What I was trying to say was there are other dreams that I have that are 100% doable in this life that I want to be sure I want to achieve before leaving, like living in my dream home, becoming an actor/actress, meeting certain celebrities, meeting my soulmate, etc. I guess that I really would rather live a life in Heaven than to live a life here on Earth with the life I'm imagining in the Blueprint. But then the way I see it is this, although I could be wrong, but since all and only good things happen in Heaven, and all you wanted is waiting for you in Heaven, then you expereince everything and it gets boring, then you come back here into a new incarnation... if you have a new incarnation.
There are lessons we need to learn, and we reincarnate to learn a lesson. That's the way I see it. Think of it as a grade as in terms of school levels. As for you question about my faith in God. You hit the nail on the head. I meant that I lacked faith that It would make me female in the next life. If I do have another lesson to learn before making it to Heaven and I do have to come back, then I hope that at least I return female.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.
On the third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Is there anything on that list you don't believe? Do you not accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, who died to redeem all our sins?
You're right that Spirit Guide Sparrows and I are just fallible human beings who have no firsthand experience of Heaven. But do you know who does? Jesus. He was God incarnate (yes, He is the Son of God, but He is also God--the analogy my mom made was that if you take a piece off a loaf of bread, it's still bread). He was the only human being in history to have that kind of inside knowledge of God and Heaven.
If Jesus was God, then His teachings are infallible, are they not? To learn those teachings, read the Gospels. I also think you should watch the movie The Miracle Maker--it's the best movie about Jesus I've ever seen. Here's a site with Jesus's teachings. http://www.twopaths.com/jteach.htm Actually, the whole twopaths.com site is good for learning about the Bible.
One of Jesus's teachings is that God is like a father to us, so it makes the most sense to refet to God as He rather than She or It. Another is that people end up in Heaven or Hell. He compared good people to wheat and bad people to weeds (the New American Bible has a footnote saying that these weeds are a type of poisonous weed that resembles wheat in its early stages), explaining that as a farmer harvests wheat and burns weeds, so angels will "harvest" good people by bringing them to Heaven and burn bad people in Hell. (Hell is not a literal fire; fire is used to describe how painful it will be.) You are right that this in itself does not preclude reincarnation. But the Bible does teach against it: "It is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgement." (Hebrews 9:27) The Bible teaches that salvation from sin and its eternal consequences is a gift that God freely gives (Ephesians 2:8-9); reincarnation teaches that salvation will come when a person perfects himself.
Here is a quote from comparativereligion.com:
"The idea of reincarnation has never been accepted by Christianity because it undermines its basic tenets. First, it compromises God’s sovereignty over creation, transforming him into a helpless spectator of the human tragedy. But since he is sovereign and omnipotent over creation, God can punish evil and will do it perfectly well at the end of history (see Matthew 25,31-46; Revelation 20,10-15). There is no need for the impersonal law of karma and for reincarnation to play this role.
"Second, belief in reincarnation may affect one’s understanding of morality and motivation for moral living. An extreme application of reincarnationist convictions could lead to adopting a detached stand to crime, theft and other social plagues. They could be considered nothing else but normal debts to be paid by their victims, which originated in previous lives.
"Third, reincarnation represents a threat to the very essence of Christianity: the need for Christ’s redemptive sacrifice for our sins. If we are to pay for the consequences of our sins ourselves in further lives and attain salvation through our own efforts, the sacrifice of Christ becomes useless and absurd. It wouldn’t be the only way back to God, but only a stupid accident of history. In this case Christianity would be a mere form of Hindu Bhakti-Yoga."
Before I became Catholic, I believed in reincarnation, because I didn't have anything better to believe in. But after I became Catholic, I dumped it fairly quickly, because it made less and less sense as I learned more and more about Christianity.
You're right that Heaven would get boring if it were nothing but earthly pleasures. I've been telling you about those so you can have a mental picture of what it might be like. But the Bible teaches, "What God has planned for people who love Him is more than eyes have seen or ears have heard. It has never even entered our minds!" (1 Corinthians 2:9, CEV). The apostle Paul wrote this, quoting Isaiah 64:4. God is infinite, so He will never run out of new, fun stuff for you to do in Heaven. And in Heaven, you get to be close to God, which is better than all the fun in the universe. Why would you want to return to another life on Earth?
So, I'd like to ask you: What is your evidence that reincarnation is real? Past-life memories? Evidence in books? Dr. Ian Stevenson? All that can be explained in other ways, as I've mentioned.
It is interesting that you mentioned the law of Karma. I could barely decipher your three teaches about how reincarnation represents a threat to people's everyday lives, or the belief of it, but I was going to say this--the things we have done and the wrong we have caused other people, don't we return to Earth in order to pay for it all? Well, disreguard that. It's not like we do something wrong and Karma waits for our next incarnation to nail us about it--we can be rewarded and punished for all our good and bad deeds in this life, then if we redeem ourselves before death, we can still make it to Heaven. And that is what I will do. I believed reincarnation was real because the way I see it, it's dawned on me that this my first incarnation as a human male. I believed in it especially since my mom once told me about this report where this lady remembers all her childrean an signigicant others from her last incarnation (she was female in that life as well). I've even watched this phenomenon on Oprah! But I know that if you commit suicide, oh, best believe you're coming back here, same problems as to why you killed yourself and all until you get through it and get it over with.
Since we've been on the topic, I've been thinking about life in Heaven a great deal. From what I understand, Heaven is not for God-rejectors, and for those who love God, I've recently read somewhere, there is a joy far greater than human eyes can imagine, and I cannot wait to experience that kind of joy. You can now say that I have come to my sences because if God or Jesus offered me eternal bliss in Heaven vs. a next rebirth here on Earth with the kind of life I've outlined in my Blueprint, I would pick Heaven, hands down. And because I am so looking forward to it, I've been writing out all the things I would like to do, see, experience, be, and I think of this as a more... Divine Blueprint! Well, I'm sure you;re gonna tell me I can make all the Blueprints I want but God has a far greater joy waiting for me, and I am aware of that.
But the other thing is that there are things that I want to experience for the first time, here on Earth while I am still here. As they say, "you only live once, so make the most of it." Well, I've always disagreed, but I'll only get to be this me only once. I've askewd God for a lot of things--a soulmate girlfriend, a group of friends, my dream home, sucess, fame, all the things I want to expereince before I leave here. Before I go, I wanna experience a day where I would be all smiles and sigh, "Man! Today's/tonight's the best day/night of my life!" But then the only thing is, I wouldn't want the next day to come as the next day it'll be all over. In Heaven, I don't think it's ever over, and then is when I want to hear, "I hope you like it here, 'cause you ain't never leaving!"
Those were the only two reasons why I decided not to go to church but I'll be shopping around for a church.
I'm also glad you're now excited about Heaven. All that stuff you want to experience in this life, you can have in Heaven. You can have a "soulmate girlfriend" and a group of friends. You can have your dream home there. Success and fame? Just being in Heaven is success, and I don't know one way or the other about fame. (Personally, I'd hate to be famous. Famous people's lives get scrutinized like crazy.) It will be like the best day of your life, except much better and never-ending.
You don't necessarily have to think of God as male; many Christians don't. In fact, my priest said he once told a female parishioner it was OK for her to see God as our mother. God has no gender, because gender is a limitation, and God has no limitations (except that He cannot sin, or do two mutually exclusive things at once). However, Jesus taught that God is a father to us all. Most theologians, if you ask why, will say it's because Jesus, being part of God, says so, and therefore to disagree is to make God in your own image. But that doesn't address why God is a father if He has no gender. The reason is that the way He is with us is more like a father than a mother. He created us outside of Himself, not inside (more on that later), and while He loves us all and is very close to us, He is not the same kind of nurturing presence that a mother is.
You may have trouble with the idea that a genderless being can be a father. As an analogy, let's look at my guinea pigs. They can smell that I'm male; female mammals detect male scents (which all male mammals share) better than any other scents. And yet, the way they behave with me indicated that they see me as a mother (judging by how baby rodents act with their mothers). This is not because I have a female mind and heart, but because the way I love them, hold them, and talk baby talk to them is more like a mother guinea pig than a father guinea pig. So, even though I am human and (physically) male, they see me as their mother, because of all the concepts a guinea pig understands, "mother" best describes me for them. Similarly, I think Jesus used the word "father" because that's the closest description of what God is to us.
You don't have to picture God as resembling Gandalf--that's just one image of Him, called "Glorified Christ." Different Christians have different images. Many see Him as a ball of light like you do--watch the movie Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey for an example. In Africa, Christian art depicts everyone in the Bible as black (even though the Israelites probably looked more like modern Israelis than like Europeans or Africans). God once appeared as fire (see the book of Exodus or the movie The Prince of Egypt). There exist movies in which God is female. Some don't even picture God at all.
However, the Lord's Prayer, also known as "Our Father" is a prayer all Christians pray (or base their prayers on), because it was taught by Jesus:
Our Father, who are in Heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Here, "lead" means "to allow (someone) to go." In ancient Greek and Aramaic, it's the same word. At my church, we pray this prayer at Mass each week. I would say that as long as you can refer to God as Father in ritualized prayers, you're fine.
I'm sorry if that stuff on reincarnation wasn't clear. What all that means is, 1) Christianity teaches that we live one life and God judges us after it, once and for all, 2) the problem with karma is that it implies that all suffering is caused by sins in past lives, and 3) salvation comes from Jesus, not from living over and over again until we get it right. You've responded to #2, but #1 and #3 talk about why reincarnation contradicts Christianity. The fact is, there is no evidence that reincarnation is real. Even the evidence people claim to have found can be explained in more sensible ways.
I think a bigger problem is your belief in pantheism. If you don't know what that means, it's your view that God is "all that is." Genesis 1, whether or not it is literal truth, teaches religious truths, one of which is that God is separate from His creation. A logical problem with pantheism is that it cannot account for the existence of the universe. The universe is not infinitely old. It had a beginning. (Otherwise the universe would have had to pass through an infinity of events to get here, which is mathematically impossible.) This would mean that God also had a beginning, but how can something bring itself into existence? This is impossible, so this leaves us with the question of where God and the universe came from.
Pantheism poses theological problems as well. Instead of a creator God who stands outside of us, and places expectations and demands upon us, it makes people free to call the shots and determine what is right and wrong, true and false, i.e. to play God. Instead of a transcendent God we have to submit to, pantheism teaches that we are all a part of the divine already, but just need to realize it. This is undoubtedly an artifact of your New Age thinking, which teaches that you don't need God because you are God. It also makes it hard to have a relationship with God; if God is just a force, having a relationship with Him is like having a relationship with electromagnetism or gravity, and if you are part of God, then it's a bit like your pancreas having a relationship with you. And we all need a relationship with God.
God is not the universe. God is the one who made the universe. There's a huge difference there. My mom and I were watching TV, and the show portrayed a group of Wiccans who talked about how they worship nature. I said, "Well, I worship the one who made nature!"
I'm happy to have brought you to Christianity. But as a Catholic, I would like to see you become part of the Catholic Church, because only the Catholic Church contains the fullness of truth. Other Christian churches have human founders and were started after 1500 A.D.; the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus around 30 A.D. (during His ministry). Other Christian churches believe in the Bible and only the Bible, while we Catholics also believe in Sacred Tradition (the part of the Gospel that was passed down orally rather than in writing) and have a Pope, guided by the Holy Spirit, to help us understand what the Bible teaches and how it applies to modern society. Hence, the Catholic Church is far less influenced by popular opinion, which keeps it more pure. What do you think of the idea of being Catholic?
Only because, if I actually have a choice, I'm not really interested in another incarnation after this one. What exactly did you mean when you said God cannot do two mutually exclusive things at once? Speaking of God, this is going to surprise you (for the better), but I've learned, the easy and hard ways (mostly easy though), to accept God's Will, and here's why--as it turns out, those who are followers of God's Will not only make it into Heaven quicker and faster, but also, things on Earth work for them for the most part. If the next things I say are true, God would be more willing to grant us our dreams and the things we really want in life. I know I still sound like the "it's all about me" selfish jerk I was before, but look at it this way, we want the things we want and we dream the things we dream to accomplish for a reason. My being transgender was for a reason. We are hear to learn the lessons God put us here to learn and make the world a better place, and accomplishing our dreams and goals is one of the ways to go about doing so. I written my book to show the world that we are not the freaks the world sees us as! Could my writing this novel been part of God's plan? Not implying that my finally deciding to follow God's Will will win me a female body (that, I look forward to in Heaven), but (so I believe) that followers of teh Divine Will are livers of better lives than those trying to go against His plan.
I think I understand why God is more like a father than a mother. It is a genderfree entity but Its charateristics and way of being is more fatherly than motherly--that why most people use male pronouns when they speak of It... or Him. If only the same phenomenon worked with me here. I would like it if people use female pronouns when they talk about me when they see my feminine mannerisms, reguardless of my physical male form. But I would highly doubt that will ever happen.
Also you proved my point when you told me about the African people seeing God as Black. Even though I'm Black myself, I disagree with that as well. Or should I? I ask that because we all are entitiled to and have rights to our opinions. I'm sure a lot of people would disagree with my image of God as I see It/Him as a giant ball of white light, as I do theirs as they see It/Him as Gandoff. But as we know it, none of have seen or heard God now have we? I mean, we must have before coming into this life but we forgot when we came here. By the way, I've seen the Prince of Egypt.
Refer to God as Father in ritualized prayers. Got it. Thanks for that prayer. I've been wanting to use it in my prayers. I've used it before but couldn't remember it off the top of my head. There were days when my mom and I used it and prayed together before I went to school in the morning. As for the reincarnation junk, I think I get it now... even though I spoke about it in the beginning of this message. I'm just having diffulty wrapping my head around the theory that we are God or a part of God. Well, it's that i disagree with that theory. I can't control the weather and the other things God can do.
I can't really say much on the idea of being Catholic. So if bad people go to Hell, do they remain there forever or until they get their sins burned out of them? I will look to be redeemed of my sins before leaving this world.
Let me ask you something: Is your mom an expert on how the afterlife works? Of course not. No one is, except Jesus (and, as we Catholics believe, the Pope). It sounds to me like your mom just wants to see a child put you through what she's gone through. We Catholics believe that, unless you commit a sin so great that you have to go to Hell (which is eternal), you spend some time in purgatory so you can be cleaned of your sins--and then you go to Heaven. Protestants go by a pass/fail system where there's a cutoff; more than X amount of sin, you go to Hell (and only God knows what X is). We don't know who goes to Hell because only God can judge that, but I would bet money (and I don't believe in gambling, so that's saying a lot) that Hitler is in Hell.
If your mom telling you that reincarnation is real is the only reason you think so, then that's not a reason at all. Given that, and the fact that you'd rather not reincarnate, why not dump the idea? The Bible says we only live once. As for "before we are born," I made that same mistake as a new Christian. In reality, God creates a new soul for each embryo at conception (that's why conservative Christians are against abortion), and the soul stays with the fetus until death. (In the event of a miscarriage, the soul goes back to Heaven.)
When I say that God cannot do two mutually exclusive things at once, I'm talking about things like creating a four-sided triangle (anything four-sided is not a triangle), doing any action and not doing that action at the same time, and making 2 equal to 3.
As for the various images of God, I think we humans have to imagine something. I like the image of Gandalf because it's a traditional image of God (known as the "Glorified Christ" image)--it's not because I saw Lord of the Rings that I picture Him that way; Gandalf just happens to look like the picture I've always had in my mind--and I love tradition. That's one reason I love the Catholic Church so much. It's very traditional, and big on rituals and ceremonies that date back almost 2,000 years.
I'm glad you disagree that we are part of God. That was my point--God is not the universe. He is separate from His creation.
I think the Catholic Church is the best one to go with of all Christian denominations, because it's the closest to what Jesus taught--for the following reasons:
First, it is the only church founded by Jesus; all others were founded by fallible human beings after 1500. Therefore it is the closest to Jesus's teachings.
Second, only Catholic Bibles are complete; Protestant Bibles are missing seven books, called the Apocrypha. The New Testament contains quotations from those books, and even when it quotes from other books, it quotes from the Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament), which included the Apocrypha.
Third, only the Catholic Church considers Sacred Tradition (the part of Jesus's story that was passed down orally) infallible. Lutherans believe in Sacred Tradition too, but they don't consider it infallible, and most other denominations ignore it altogether. Sacred Tradition is affirmed in the Bible: "They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers." (Acts 2:42)--also "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter." (2 Thessalonians 2:15) ( http://www.scripturecatholic.com/oral_tradition.html ). The apostles today are bishops (only the Catholic, Orthodox, and Episcopal churches have bishops); their status as bishops was conferred by other bishops, whose status as bishops was conferred by other bishops, all the way back to Jesus's twelve apostles. We call this "apostolic succession."
Fourth, purgatory is supported by the Bible; Hebrews 12:23 talk about "the spirits of the just made perfect" in Heaven.
Fifth, most Protestants believe that all one has to do is accept Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior in order to be justified by God (justification is the process by which man, moved by grace, turns toward God and away from sin, and accepts God’s forgiveness and righteousness). Thus, most Protestants believe that one is justified and saved by His faith in Christ alone (called "sola Fide" or "faith alone"). But if this is true, then why does James say that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone? (James 2:24) In addition, this Protestant belief leads to the belief that all non-Christians are doomed to go to Hell, which is clearly wrong--can anyone honestly say that someone as good as Gandhi is in Hell just because he didn't accept Jesus as his savior? Of course not. The Catholic position is that anyone who lives a good moral life can go to Heaven.
If you'd like to learn more about the Catholic Faith, go to www.catholic.com --this is Catholic Answers, the best site on Cathlicism out there. There's a message board where you can ask any questions you have, and you can even ask professional Catholic apologists your questions! And if you're going to be Catholic, it's best to start going to a Catholic church (but find a god one) as soon as possible, because in order to be a full member, you have to go through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults), which starts in August or September and ends at Easter with baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation.
If you don't like the idea of being Catholic, I can answer any objections you might have.
Again, I'm so happy for you!
As far as the afterlife thing goes, I am still willing to drop the mindset. However, I guess this means that everything I was taought about those who commit suicide will return with the same problems isn't really true after all. I mean, I'm sure there are other consequences, but I'm still condoning against people commiting suicide. I mean, don't get me wrong. So Hell is eternal? Oh, that's a bit scary to think about for the evil people that are suffering there. So, even if you do do more than x ammount of sins and get redeemed, do you still not go there? To Hell? I'm sure Hitler is in Hell as well.
In you mentioning that God creates a new soul for each new embryo, I'm guessing that if that's the case then a pre-existing soul does not change into another embryo. And for this, most people are against abortion? I am for abortion, for quite a few good reasons. It irks me that many people are against abortion even if the pregnant woman got pregnant via means of rape, incest, accidental pregnancy, and things in that nature, and those are the reasons why I am for abortion. What a couple does and what their decicions are when it comes to having a baby is their business, not society's. If you got your wife/girlfriend pregnant by accident and neither of y'all wanted the baby, wouldn't you both consider aborting it without the slightest reguard to how the world feels about it? Exactly. I know I would.
And I won't carry a taser, or dress feminine in public. I should probably keep it at home. As they always say--there's a time and place for everything. I was just going to dress femininely on 2am Black Friday (only if there is a gang of friends shielding me) and to my reunion, but I'm starting to have second thoughts about it.
I am glad that you are so happy for me that I have finally decided to live under God's will. I do feel differently about my gender thing, I still am transgender. I still do have feminine mannerisms, the problem itself still exists. It's just that I'm not as resentful and angry about it as before. So it seems your prayers for me did work after all! Thanks a lot. I will look to get into a Catholic Church.
I cannot wait for my life to transform before my eyes, and I still can't wait to go to Heaven afterwards!
I suggest calling the church before you go to Mass, telling them you're interested in becoming Catholic but are uncomfortable going to Mass alone; then ask if there is anyone who can accompany you to Mass, sit with you at Mass, and explain anything you might have questions about. After Mass, the priest will stand outside the church so anyone who wants to can talk to him. I suggest that you ask to meet with him as soon as possible; tell him you're interested in becoming Catholic, and then prepare a list of things you want to talk about. If the priest isn't friendly, go to another church, and repeat this whole process.
The priest is very important. If you go to a particular church and don't like the service, you don't have to stick with it--you can look for another. There are two Catholic churches in my city, but my mom and I like neither of them. We go to a wonderful church in a neighboring city, with the best priest we could ask for.
I also think you should get some kind of Bible. I know you have trouble reading, but I think you should get children's books about the Bible and Christianity (I still enjoy those a lot)--those are useful for anyone new to the faith, whether child or adult. I recommend the Catholic Children's Bible, plus anything you can find at the library or any nearby used bookstore (since books are much cheaper there).
As for your questions:
I really don't know much about any view of Hell other than the Catholic view, but we have purgatory. All of us have done some sin, including mortal sins; by being redeemed for those, we go to purgatory instead of Hell. Just because we're redeemed doesn't mean we don't still have to be cleaned from our sins. If you fall into mud, you can clean some of it off yourself, but you still have to shower and wash your clothes to be clean. Purgatory is also helpful because it means we don't operate under the Protestant pass/fail system I described.
You have more compassion for those evil people in Hell than I do. It is a sad thing that they did not see the error of their ways and repent. I know this in my mind, but am still working on feeling it. I have difficulty with forgiveness; I have trouble forgiving people who do really bad things to me, even though I know Jesus said I have to. So be glad that you don't have my problem here.
Suicide is considered a mortal sin, but not everyone who does so will go to Hell--it is always grave matter, but a grave sin is only mortal if you do it with full knowledge that it is a sin (with something like suicide, anyone of sound mind knows it's wrong) and with full consent. Someone who's insane probably won't go to Hell for suicide, because they're not acting out of free will. They'll probably just spend a lot of time in purgatory.
For the abortion question, you're right as to one reason we're against it: God puts in a soul at conception. Society has nothing to do with it, because God, not society, decides what is and is not moral. (There are cases where abortion can be moral, such as when it's to save the mother's life.) There are other reasons, though. You don't necessarily have to agree yourself, just accept the fact that the Church has very good reasons for teaching as it does.
One reason is the principle that children are a gift from God, not a burden to be aborted over a matter of "convenience."
Another reason is those accidental pregnancies you describe. The natural consequence--indeed, the purpose--of sex is pregnancy. If a woman doesn't want to raise her baby, she can always adopt it out. Did you know that because of contraception, abortion, and social acceptance of single motherhood, it is now extremely hard for couples who want to adopt to do so? Also, the reason accidental pregnancies happen is because people have sex with people they don't want to have children with. People talk about the idea that a woman "shouldn't" have to go through a whole pregnancy if she doesn't want to--but if she really doesn't want to, she should save sex for when she is married and wants children. When you strip away the emotion and the rhetoric from both sides, we are left with the option of whether a woman should be allowed an abortion so she can have sex without its natural consequence. When someone eats and tries to avoid the natural consequence and purpose (in this case, food in the stomach), we call it an eating disorder.
Another reason is concern about underpopulation. Thanks to contraception and abortion, every Western country has a fertility rate below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman. In Europe as a whole, it's 1.3, the critical threshold, from below which no human society has ever recovered--and it's even lower in southern and Eastern Europe. In fact, the exceptions are mostly countries with large Muslim populations, and the average Muslim woman in those countries has 3.5 children (and often keeps to the ways of her ancestors rather than assimilating). The majority of European languages could become moribund (not taught to children anymore) within a hundred years. Luckily, the United States does not have this problem so much (we're at about 2.0), largely due to the Christian Right and immigration from Latin America (both groups have more kids than average).
There are Catholics who would agree with you on abortion. Its just that they disagree with official Catholic teaching (which many do). A lot of people--even devout Catholics--have trouble with Catholic teaching on sexual morality. So you're not alone, and you can bring it up when you talk to a priest.
Anyway, if I had a girlfriend (not that I see this happening--I feel called by God to a life of celibacy), I would avoid sex until marriage, and I would not use contraception. In times when it's just not practical to have another child, Catholic couples can use natural family planning (where the woman's body is monitored for signs of fertility--this works even better than birth control!) to avoid conception.
I'm glad you've decided against dressing in feminine clothing in public and carrying a taser, and that you're having second thoughts about doing so on Black Friday. Of course, you have from now until then to fully decide one way or the other.
The transgender problem and the feminine mannerisms still exist for me, too. They probably always will. But the cross is so much easier to bear with God's help. I'm so glad you're excited abot your life transforming before your eyes. It was the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me.
The most helpful place to get your questions answered is Catholic Answers (www.catholic.com) --I suggest you join the forums. I've found it very helpful. Of course, you can still come to me with any questions you have. But I can only give you my individual perspective on Catholic teaching. There are many other perspectives that may be helpful (just watch out for angry jerks, like on any other forum). Feel free to run any answers you get by me if you have trouble with them for any reason. If you're having trouble making yoru way around the site, please feel free to ask me for help.
It makes perfect sence about the Purgury system. So, I'm guessing that just because one has to undergo purgery doesn't nessasarrily mean they don't go to Heaven. And another thing, I too have a problem forgiving the people who wrongdone me. Well, I mean, I do but only because I know I have to. If I can't forgive, say, my mother for calling me those derogatory names, why should God forgive me for my sins?
Oh, and I've been meaning to answer to the part where you said that the world sees me as a man--yeah, that really irked me. Well, not really, because I am transgender, I give myself every right to remove every obligation from myself to conform to their sterotypical laws of being a man. I do feel a lot less vexed about my situation but I'm not following society;s laws of manhood. Kill me if y'all must but I refuse.
I think you should show your mom how you've improved since accepting Jesus; I imagine she'll support anything that makes you a better person.
If you must wait a while to go to church, then you should do little things to help your faith in the meantime. Here are some links that will help:
Learn to pray the rosary: http://www.virtualrosary.org/
Minute meditations: http://www.americancatholic.org/features/minute/default.aspx
Bible verse of the day: http://www.john23middletown.org/j23/aggregator/sources/3
Daily Mass readings: http://www.usccb.org/nab/today.shtml
Saint of the day: http://www.catholic.org/saints/sofd.php
Also, I suggest listening to Christian songs on YouTube. Just type in phrases like "Bible songs," "Christian songs," "Christian hymns," "Gospel music," and the like. I recommend the Cedarmont kids. You might want to buy some children's CDs of Christian music.
What was that "little mess" you made? Can you fix it? If so, then fix it.
To answer your question about purgatory, God does not send people there if they're just going to Hell. People who go to Heaven need to go to purgatory first. How long depends on how much they've sinned (but there's no formula known to anyone but God). As for forgiveness, my priest says that comes after a long time with lots of prayer.
Don't worry at this point what your vocation is. "Vocation" means what God calls you to do with your life--with some, it's marriage; with others, it's the priesthood or religious life (monks and nuns); others dedicate their lives to serving God in some other way. Discernment takes a long time. If God is calling you to marriage, He will find you a partner. The most important thing to know is that God will choose the calling that is the best for you. Missionaries in Africa, for example, are called to that vocation because they love Africa and its cultures.
I'm sorry if I offended you by telling you that other people see you as a man, but that is how they see people like us. They don't see us as normal men; rather, everyone must be grouped into one gender or the other, and that is done by biological sex. Whether or not we like it, this norm is there. I would not be doing you any favors if I lied to you about that.
There is no rule saying you HAVE to follow society's laws of manhood. But don't be surprised if God helps you relax a little on that one. I remember that you refused to go to college because you didn't want to refer to yourself as male on Selective Service forms. A good education is crucial to success in life these days; do you think you might ask God to help you relax enough to allow yourself to do whatever it takes to go to college?
I hope all this is helpful, and I hope you can start growing in faith.