Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: YOUTH (04/04/19)
- TITLE: Too Many Questions
By Jack Taylor
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How do you answer that? I feel old enough to know that something isn’t quite right in my world and in my body. I feel like I’m a puzzle piece which people keep trying to fit into a space it doesn’t quite belong. I feel like I’m an instrument in a symphony where the notes I’m playing aren’t quite right for the music everyone else is playing. I feel like I’m the static in the background of the sound system which leaves everyone uncomfortable. All I really want to know is “do I belong here?”
A month ago, I spent time with Troy, our youth pastor. I asked him whether we are just born the way we are or whether we have a choice? At school, we’re being taught about how we can choose to be whoever we want to be. We don’t have to be male or female. We could be anyone of 71 different gender identities. I told him that I had a friend who sometimes doesn’t feel like a guy.
Troy told me that my friend was experiencing gender dysphoria which was normal for one in every three hundred people my age. He said that 90% of students would get through this phase by the end of high school.
I asked him what he would think if a guy wore a dress to youth group. He told me not to “go all Caitlyn Jenner on him.” He said that life is confusing enough without trying to make it harder. He told me to read Genesis and remember that whose I am is more important than who I am. I thought that maybe youth group wasn’t the place for just anyone to belong.
Three weeks ago, I talked with my Sunday School teacher. I asked him what he knew about gender dysphoria. He said that God made us male or female to fulfill complementary roles and that people who felt out of alignment between their sexual identity and biological sex needed to get put right like a tire needs to be realigned.
I asked him why God would make Bruce Jenner, the world’s greatest athlete, into Caitlyn Jenner, the most famous transgender woman in the world. He said that God had nothing to do with it. He said Jenner had a disability and needed compassion and attention. He said that we live in a broken world and that I needed to be careful which shows I was watching. “Trash in, trash out,” he said. I figured that people who struggled with who they were probably didn’t belong in my Sunday School class.
Two weeks ago, I asked my pastor what he would think if a man who felt like a woman came into church and tried to belong there. He told me that there were a lot of secular influences in our society pushing transgenderism as an ideology and I needed to take his apologetics course on defending the truth of the gospel. He said that when he was younger he would send people like that to see a counselor but now that counselors had been brainwashed he didn’t think that would work anymore. I figured that people who struggled with who they were probably better to keep quiet in our church if they wanted to belong.
One week ago, I asked my friend Annie what she would think if someone who had been born a boy felt like a girl sometimes. She put her arm around me, laid her head on my shoulder, and said: “I would say, that’s a lot of feeling to deal with on your own.”
I asked her what she would think if it was me that was struggling. She said “I like you first for you. We’re all like icebergs. Only a small part of who we are is seen by others. Only friends get to share what is hidden so they can help each other through the journey.”
I’m not sure I want to go to church this week. Annie is having a few of her girlfriends over to watch some chick flicks. She said I could come if I wanted. More than anything I want to belong. But I have so many questions. Maybe I’m just too young.
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