Overcome your doubt

John 15 1, 7-8: (Jesus said): I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower.7. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

 

(Vanessa had asked that I divide this inspiration into two pieces for ease of reading and thinking on. This is the continuation of the inspiration that started with the story of the Eunuch in Acts. To recap, both of these lessons, the story of the Eunuchin Acts, and the parable of the vine and the vinegrower were read in church on Mother’s Day and were the source for the entire Inspiration.-Vicki)

 

It seems appropriate then that the image of the vine that Jesus uses in the Gospel followed the lesson of this hungering soul, the eunuch of Acts. Jesus compares himself to a vine, and the Father to the vinegrower. He compares us to offshoots from that vine, and that those who bear fruit, are cared for, pruned and allowed to flourish under the Father’s care and constantly fed by the main vine which is Christ. We cannot live or exist in Christ apart from his sustenance. “Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, but apart from me you can do nothing.” I listened to the verse, understanding again the lesson that in Christ lays the answers we all look for and yet hearing these words as if for the first time and with new understanding. The minister in his sermon used many present day examples to drive the point home, and then asked this question, attempting to tie the two stories together. He allowed that angels, still work in this world, though we probably shouldn’t expect magnificent winged creatures blazing with light to guide us. But, he said, be attentive to the little things and then look inside to test it. He pointed more than once to an area on his torso, between the heart and stomach and peered at the congregation, how do we know it is the Spirit he asked, tapping that region on him self. He didn’t need to provide the answer, for we know where God resides. It is there in our heart that we find not only God abiding in us, but us abiding in God. The lesson was very clear, but my hungering Spirit wanted more.

When one goes out on a journey that might be on a path that would seem new; perhaps by the “experts” of our day to be…forbidden; one wants to be sure that their chosen path is correct. I want to believe that this ministry call I feel so strongly is true. I found myself as the Pastor tapped his heart wanting to shout out, how can we know and trust that “gut” feeling. I am a seeker filled with too many doubts at times, still wanting to believe that it doesn’t matter what I choose to wear, or who I find fulfillment in love with, or even that the body I was given does not match the person that I am. I want to believe that God is not judging us on that. Still the path I am on, the people I seek to reach out to and be reached back to by, are seen by so many as unworthy of God’s love and acceptance. I know many in this community struggle daily with this side of themselves and reject God, because they feel God has rejected them. So I wonder if I might just be wrong and that “they” are right. I formulate the words and want to ask, How can I be sure this is God and not my own selfishness, or my own agenda. It seems even as the words are hanging in the air, “those who abide in me” I am forgetting them. Even as the pastor taps his chest, I am questioning my own heart.

Yet, the words stay, the words hang until they can penetrate and take root. I let go of the doubt, look to Jesus, and allow myself to abide in Him, and the fruit begins to flourish. I give up my own agenda, I allow the vinegrower to prune as necessary, and wait for the fruit to appear. God is wise enough to know, if I saw the perils of the journey, I would likely just stay at home. If we knew what lay ahead, joys and sorrow, trials and triumphs, most of us would likely just decide it wasn’t worth it, and choose to live the way we are expected to. But He provides us with the assurance we need. The fruits of our labors would be proof enough. In these first weeks, I’ve found so many of you willing to share your thoughts back to me, to encourage me in small yet important ways. I hesitate to use the term, loaded in our present day world with such negative connotation for people like us. But there it is, you are my fruits, the assurance that Jesus abides in me, and that I am finally beginning to abide in Him. Maybe better to say, you all are my angels, visiting me and pointing me to new paths, all the while giving me that sense of peace that I am on the right path for me. I give thanks to you and I give thanks to God for you all dear readers, and will stay on this path, even though doubt assails me at times. I will strive to remember in Him, we have our strength and purpose and it is in Him only we need seek approval.

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11 Comments
  1. Ray 10 years ago

    I have your rss feed on my destop sidebar, but this trend to religion stories on your site is very disturbing. All religion is a terrible scam perpetrated on the people of the world, and I find this offensive. Especially so, since the christian religion finds crossdressing, along with any other type of different sexual expression to be abhorrent. I am baffled as to why you would support a group of people who, by and large, find you to be anathema. I will be removing your feed from my sidebar, and I will not be frequenting this site any more.

    • Vanessa Law 10 years ago

      Hi Ray,

      I’m sorry to hear you’re leaving us. The posts about Christianity and crossdressing are not meant to offend anyone, but to share the love and hope of Jesus withall his children. Reconciling a deeply held belief with one’s true inner nature as a crossdresser causes stress and dissonance for many in the transgender community. I think it’s important to share an alternate Christian point of view – the love of Jesus encompasses everyone, and doesn’t have a requirement on race or gender or sexual preference. Those who would say otherwise deny the purpose of His message.

      But in a sense I agree with you. You are quite correct that religion is a scam, and far worse. It has been the cause of war, and hate and suffering. I believe it is the greatest threat to scientific progress, human rights and genuine love. The paradox is, if the religions of the world practiced half of what their founders preached we would think of them differently. I think Jesus hangs His head in shame at what His ‘followers’ do in His name. At the intolerance and hate the world has been burdened with because of religion.

      I think now I understand what Jesus was speaking out against when He condemned the actions of the Pharisees. Perhaps the Christians are the 21st century Pharisees?

      Ray, I must emphatically say that I do not support a group of people (‘the church’, ‘Christians’, …). Rather, I have a deep belief in the love and salvation that Jesus Christ brings us. Of the power of the love and tolerance He preached to transform the world. I believe every person is a beautiful creation. Yes, even Christians () 🙂

      • Susan Veronica 9 years ago

        I agree with your message all the way. Is too bad Ray felt that way. But he’s following the pharisee and saducee of our modern age and that’s why he’s so disappointed and that’s his fault not yours. I follow Jesus, not people.

        Susan

  2. Ragina 10 years ago

    Hi Vanessa, I wanted to get in on this comment. As a Christian and a crossdresser, I have to agree that religion in general can be a scam. Look at some of these mega-churches that are popping up these days with thier multi-million dollar edificesdesigned to”reach the masses with the Gospel’. Come on now! How in the world can they ever reach the masses when there is all the budgetary expences to meet every month, not to mention the staff it takes to maintain these facilities. And, of course, there’s the pastors salary. You get the picture. Couldn’t there be a better use of all the cash that comes through the door. I love the small community church that we belong to. Everyone knows everyone and loves his fellow man, wherever he or she may be in thier walk. Denominationalism is the bane of true Christianity. I call myself a Christian who chooses to worship in the Episcopal (Anglican, for all our readers in the UK). I love it and wouldn’t change it. Perfect? Not by a long shot. But we love our brothers and that’s what it all boils down to. Love all, Ragina

    • Susan Veronica 9 years ago

      Dear Ragina,

      We’re not even supposed to call other people rabbis or fathers or pastors or ministers. We are supposed to be all brothers and let those names to the only True One, Jesus. I am happy that you found a true church to go to. I have been to a few of them and I finally gave up on them for been wrong, not on Jesus who’s right. Remember that Jesus at the final step will send a lot of those so called Christians to hell by saying and I paraphrase; You’ve never been in my ways. To bad for them, I feel sorry, but they made their bed.

      Susan

  3. Nick 7 years ago

    I cannot find in your writing how it is ok with God to cross dress, even for humor which I like if ok. How do you mesh this type of dressing with the Bible? I’ve been searching the Web for answers for long and some don’t reply after one e-mail that they send. It seems that its too much for them to care that I find humor in dressing this way-lets say if its ok. So, any ways, how do you mesh cross dressing and the Bible-can the Bible be used rightly to verify its ok? Thanks.

    • Brian Boehrs 3 years ago

      ok so ik u posted like 4 years ago and i apologize and i dont even know if u still care at this point. but my view is this: i think crossdressing in general is ok because its just clothes and who the heck cares. i cant imagine jesus wearing female clothes when he was on earth, but then again i cant imagine him skydiving or going to a water park or stuff like that. his life was fully involved in his ministry so he didnt do much other than that. i think it gets a little “ifsy” for justifying being transgender with the bible however, becuz God gave us the gender he thought was appropriate for us. so if we want to change that i think that kinda is like calling God a liar and he doesnt know whats best for u. now thats just my opinion on the matter but tbh i dont think cross dressing in itself is wrong even if its for personal enjoyment becuz theyre just clothes. wear what u want, ppl can whine all they want. so in the end i dont think u can use the bible to justify it, u just gotta listen to what the holy spirit tells u. now i dont have a problem with other ppl being homosexual or trans mostly becuz i think i identify as a libertarian. i operate on this mostly: if u dont want ppl telling u how u should live ur life, dont tell other ppl how to live theirs. i think all christians should adopt this philosophy tbh becuz what we currently r doing is chasing ppl away from jesus, which is what we shouldnt be doing. we should be getting past what we think ppl’s sins r and love the human being behind it, becuz all christians r sinners deserving of death too and its only becuz of jesus that we r saved anyway. hope i helped ✌️

  4. Damera 5 years ago

    As a pastor who has just come out to his wife and found her very supportive I feel drawn to answer. Jesus’ counsel that “you will know them by their fruit” seems relevant. Clothing unless it has demeaning writing on it is a neutral aspect of life. If the world is to be judged by whether each person (and nation) feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, visits those in prison and you can do these things in any kind of clothing then clothing does not count in terms of ultimate issues.
    If dressing as a woman enables a man to feel more relaxed, more in touch with the nurturing side (as it does for me) I see no reason for guilt. There are two different schools of interpretation that battle it out these days: if the Bible does permit it, it is forbidden (hence a ban on organs and guitars) and if the Bible doesn’t forbid it, it is allowed. Since there is only one passage regarding crossdressing and it occurs in the Old Testament (which I do not feel is binding on Christians) then it I do not feel guilty about how I dress.
    In terms of Ray’s comments, to presume you can make a blanket judgment on people you have not met seems to fall into the category of stereotyping. Also to select Megachurches as an example of Christianity is like saying Donald Trump is representative of your local merchants. Churches provide meals for the poor (my church budgets $15,000 to do this), we counsel the mentally ill in areas where there are no psychiatrists or clinical social workers. Churches deal with grief and provide volunteers to hospice when non Christians feel uncomfortable visiting the dying in their own family. Where is this concern in the Atheist Community? If religion is an illusion and the church a failed experiment then I prefer how it does things rather than how others avoid things.

  5. dean ritter 2 years ago

    confusion is a result….too much information…thats our society…fast knowledge without scholarly research…our worlds rat race…we dont have time to take time to hear…so our faith waivers…our eyes are not spiritual…blindness creeps in and out….
    solution: keep it simple…humble yourself….all sin everyday…only Jesus is pure…
    the sin we all do is never fully understood…our faults…our mistakes…whers the score board???who has it?no mans scoreboard is going to control me….Gods time is to be followed…who has Gods watch?….phil 1:20,21 in nothing i should be ashamed…
    my prayer everyday: i ask you to forgive me that i hinder not thy holy spirit and forgive me of my iniquities and wash them clean by thy powerful blood of the lamb….praise God

  6. Hi Vanessa Every night i say my prayers to God and thank him for sending mankind our savior, Jesus and i thank him for being in my life, as i have excepted him for this. As i understand,
    the Bible says that a man shall not dress as woman or woman as man correct me if i am wrong.But i am not man i have and have always been female , and in my prayers i have thanked him for helping me come to grips with this dominate person inside me screaming to come out. I will not hate others who have a different feeling about this, everyone must make up his or her own mind. I know my coming to terms with this has greatly helped me .I don’t think God hates , i think hatred is all ours . Maybe for me wearing male clothing is wrong . All of us here are being who we know we are and we know its right for us, we are at peace. Every night i say my prayers i pray for all of us because i love you all . Be yourself its proper, its right ,the person inside is the one in charge. Leslie

  7. Vanessa! You astound me….were do you find these stories of inspiration?????

    Vicki”s article on Christian Cross Dressing is so well written and inspirational. As a Knight Templar of The Temple of Solomon…..I too embrace these thoughts and it is part of our oath of allegence to the Holy Roman Empire. However, I think there are other things the bible should contain for modern situations and I have written a couple of extra Commandments. Christ and Jesus are not in my heart……but…..in my brain. I get thing for life from there. I believe that I am their Angel sent to earth to smite the heathens and evil doers with my Sword of the Lord. As a Knight our uniform is a skirt and tunic worn over out chain mail armor and surrounded by a cape of white with a red (blood) Cross similar to the Robe of Jesus…..Gods Army as it were. And a pair of tights! So similar to cross dressing…n’est pas! I have killed in the name of the Lord but I don’t expect to be forgiven. The Lord was not General Westmoreland nor Nixon/LB Johnson but the voices of my brothers and sisters and God.

    Thank you for the article and bless you.

    Lady Veronica

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