Mutually Shared Selflessness (#552)

WARNING: Be advised that this podcast is a frank and perhaps for some a controversial conversation about sexuality. Wayne and Brad continue with part two of their conversation with Tracy Levinson, author of Unashamed: candid conversations about dating, love, nakedness, and faith. They start where they left off, talking about navigating the waters where your sexual experience is a disappointment or even a cause of great pain. Then they talk about the entire relationship between a husband and wife and how it affects their sexual experience together. Loving each other is not about manipulating each other for our own wants but growing in the joy of mutually shared selflessness, Finally, they read a letter from a transgendered woman and podcast listener about the the struggles she's had in recently coming out and embracing what she considers freedom and authenticity.

Podcast Notes:
Wayne's Travel Schedule
Original Podcast with Tracy
Tracey's latest article on modesty:  Jesus, Nakedness and your Kids\
Seven Things I'm Learning About Transgendered People by Mark Wingfield
unashamed: candid conversations about dating, love, nakedness and faith
Tracy's website
Wayne's review of Tracy's book
There are still a few more slots available if you want to join Brad and Wayne on their Trip to Israel
You can find our latest update on our work in Kenya here.
Add your voice to our question/comment line via Skype at "TheGodJourney"


  1. Wayne, thank you for this podcast. I’m glad you took the time to address this issue of transgender people and the political topics at hand in our country. Sadly these bathroom issues are fear-based topics to garner votes, not reality-based views. The people in Target who are going into women’s restrooms are mostly from the Family Research Counsel, yes, a political action group, not pedophiles. They were asked to go in there by the FRC. It’s pathetic. It’s really sad that people are up in arms because of a few political action groups, all in the name of God…it’s all optics and it makes us trans people scared to go pee. Yes, we hate all the attention we are given for restrooms.

    I strongly suggest reading “Becoming Nicole” by the Maines family to read about the struggle young transgender girls have with just going to the restroom in school.

    People who are transgender are not gender-confused. My mind was renewed at the age of 20 when I was “saved”. Which made the entire process the next quarter century truly where the confusion exists: “God, if I’m saved, shouldn’t you have taken this issue from me?”

    But He never does.

    Not for Christians or non-Christians.

    It’s biological. Proven so. It’s not a delusion like too many assume. It’s not gender confusion. People who are trans are indeed trans. I can provide as many links for this if people wish.

    My entire life was filled with ever worsening depression, anger, terrible anxiety, grotesque shame and emotional numbness that only became worse attempting to cope. I attempted to fix it with large amounts of alcohol. In late 2013 when I turned 43 the “A-ha!” moment occurred when I realized that the depression was gender-based, that I was indeed transgender. At that moment, I thought I could bury it, after all, I buried it for four decades. But the alcohol consumption became much worse. I blacked out for the first time from drinking in spring 2014. It was a new low. Then the moment of reckoning occurred late that summer when the depression slid to the worst ever, I almost pulled the trigger to end it all. I chose life. I chose not to kill myself. After all I’m pro-life. And I chose to be pro-life for my own life.

    After starting therapy in late summer 2014 I started cross-sex hormones, that day all the depression lifted, the emotional numbness vanished, the anger disappeared forever and the anxiety was gone. All in one afternoon starting hormones. It’s biological, not “delusional” or confusion-based. I knew transition to female was the only way no matter how much I tried to wish it away and hold it back.

    Fast forward 25 months…I was with a friend, only one of two that knew my story before I had that moment of reckoning, and she said I can’t stop smiling these days, that my positiveness is overflowing. Unlike 25 months ago when I never smiled and was filled with all the toxicity.

    Russell Moore’s influential 2009 essay “John or Joan?” is completely wrong. I wish he would listen to stories like mine and millions of others who start hormones only to find the amazing emotional and mental effects of who we really are. He insists that we stop hormones. Really? Stop the very thing that cures our ails? No way. He needs to change his mind about this issue with real, tangible proof in front of him. Then change the entire SBC as a result. I hope he repents of his views.

    The Hebrew word for repentance: to turn your mind like you’re turning your direction on a path.

    God may make people “male and female” but that doesn’t mean that’s only the case. A study on the variance of genders shows God doesn’t make only male and female. He never did. But somehow we interpret Gen 1:27 as the only way. It’s not. That’s taken out of context these days. Sigh. 🙁

    This journey is God’s will, but it took me true repentance, true mind-changing to accept that God paints with a technicolor brush, not a black & white, this or that, 2-color scheme. That changed my heart and changed life’s path.

    The results of that Technicolor paint brush He paints with are all over my life these days. I’ve seen miracles that the institutional church would scoff at, even this past week in my car stuck in traffic with a friend. It’s simply amazing to behold.

    These days I’m thrilled to be alive. I look different, as do many of my Christian transgender friends, but I’m happy to be here!

    Brad is right on: “Most people are so uncomfortable in these moments it threatens the answer they found shelter in.” Yes. Once people realize that trans people are just people, they become comfortable again with a new-found shelter of added truth and reality that transgender people are just people after all.

    Thank you Wayne for this dialogue. I’m glad to answer questions and continue this conversation.

    Monica Jean

    • Hello Monica Jean,
      Thank you for reading my testimony.
      I have some thoughts after reading your story , thank you for sharing . I was adamant that I had a female brain and my body did not match , which is why I went ahead and had full Sexual Reassignment Surgery in 2008. At that time I wanted to be the woman that God intended me to be , that was my drive and I wanted to tell the world.
      In your writing you say :
      ” It’s biological. Proven so. It’s not a delusion like too many assume. It’s not gender confusion. People who are trans are indeed trans. I can provide as many links for this if people wish. ”
      The problem with this statement is that I can find as many Dr ,Psychiatrists and scientists who will prove my point as you can find to prove your point. This just leads to arguments. The one fact we all have in common is that we are not perfect and not one of us can say we have all the answers. All we can do is live our lives with the knowledge that we have and do our best . I completely believe that God made me a male , that is my testimony, that’s my walk with God. Everybody has a different walk and a different testimony. What is true for me , may not be true for you, I do not know I am not God. All I do know is that by me sharing with people what happened to me it can give other trans people a different view and hopefully show that even if people decide to have surgery if you choose to return to the gender you were before the surgery you can still have a life. I read about so many post op trans people who have become so depressed that suicide seemed to be their only option. I felt that way myself. As with any statement , maybe the suicidal tendency was in me whether I was trans or not along with the depression.

      As I have said for me as a Christian a follower of Jesus I can only tell everyone that you are loved by God , spend time in prayer and get to know him. God has a plan for your life , I have no idea what that plan involves that is between you and God its your walk ,your testimony that is why God knows every hair on our heads. As I say I think Christians need to stop telling trans people they are going to Hell, God is the only judge , we should be saying Jesus loves you , he died for you , gave up his perfect life so that we can all get to know him if you choose too. Then its up to God what he revels to each one of us and its up to us what we do with this information. Do not be swayed by any man ( men or women ) trust in God stay close to him and have a great walk with Jesus

  2. Hello
    with the transgendered issues ( TS ) I was born a male. In 2004 I became so disillusioned with being a male, I was short, hated sports , I was everything society said made me less of a man. I was told by my dad I should have been born a girl, he even had a female name for me .
    I finally attempted suicide . During that time , I was referred to a local Dr who said I should go to the “experts” in a London hospital. They said I was suffering from gender dysphoria. Three years later ( 2008 ) I had full surgery. I had changed my name to Stephanie and lived as a female.
    In 2010 I met another ts who was attending a church. I was shocked as I had been told by so many Christians I was going to Hell because of my trans status.
    When I discovered this trans person went to church, I went to my local Vineyard, people did not judge me they only told me that Jesus loved me . This broke me and I came to understand just how much God loves me. I became baptised in October 2010 as Stephanie. A few months later I came to the realisation that God had made me a man, not a woman.
    I went through the most difficult time battling and arguing with God about why I felt I should have been a woman. God spoke to me and said he had created me to live as a man. I had a choice I could go on living as a trans person , however my life would be so much more fulfilled if I grew closer to Jesus and could understand how much he loves me . He wants the best for me , not a half life of confusion.
    I now live as a male as God intended.
    As Christians we have to stop telling people they are going to Hell, most people realise this fact. Try telling a trans person Jesus LOVEs them , that will knock them off their feet. God loves me ! It took me a while about a year to finally see this through a handful of good people never giving up on me never judging me waiting for my heart to be moved by God.
    I am not saying its an easy thing to go through. The problem for me was I wanted to BE a female not pretend to be a female. After surgery , being on female hormones for over eight years, living as a trans woman for over eight years, making a television appearance and newspapers and magazines writing articles about me, I came to the conclusion that I have a male body as God had created and at my very core I was a man.
    I felt I was being dishonest with everyone in my life pretending to be female.

    As with the whole “men can be born with a female brain” this is fast being proved false. The brain is adaptable and affected by what people say and how you are treated. If you keep telling someone they are going to fail at something they more often will fail. Keep telling a male he should have been born a female results in the same outcome. The tiny percentage across the whole world who fall into the hermaphrodite spectrum where they clearly have a female skeleton and yet have male genital or partial male and female genitals or the other way round gives gender confused people false hope that they are in that group of people , which they are not. I have a male skeleton , had male genitals. The confusion was in my head , not hard wired in my brain, it is clearly a mental health issue, compounded by people having surgery as a fix. The surgeon said to me ” I now have the body to match my brain ” but what about my male skeleton , which screams out to everybody that I am clearly NOT a woman. Which is why trans people get stopped by real women, saying ” wow you look really good , I think you are very brave etc etc ”
    If I had been accepted as a real woman I would not have had all this unwanted attention. Everyone saw me as a trans woman , not a woman.
    I am so thankful for honest open hearted Christians who have stood by me and to Jesus for changing my life . Feel free to share this email with any trans people . God does love you , more than you can imagine. He wants you to love him and see the truth , even though its the hardest thing a trans person will ever go through, coming to the truth about who they really are .

    Thank you for taking the time to read this .

  3. Thank you for your story, however I must disagree with you on an important point. Men are indeed born with female brains. And females are indeed board with mail brains. There’s plenty of evidence to show this. But given the gender is on the spectrum, there is no one-size-fits-all, male or female for transgender people.

  4. I work with a transgendered person, born a ‘he’ but wants to be referred to as a ‘she’, and uses a female name. I have had little to no trouble accepting this. Others have slipped up, one person insists on using her ‘dead’ name, as she refers to it. I realize this is a choice she is responsible and accountable for, regardless of what other people think, whether they agree or disagree. We are ALL responsible for the consequences of our decisions, whether decisions based on sexuality, spirituality, religion, etc. And God is our ultimate judge.

    • I agree Ron . It cost us nothing to be respectful and show people love. We are all accountable for our decisions and with everything we do , there are consequences for us and the people around us .

  5. Yes!!! This is the dialogue I was originally hoping to hear! And I now understand what I was hearing and how I was hearing it when I listened to the first podcast with Tracy and Brad last week. Last week I was “hearing” the Christian “Perfect Ideal” and this week I’ve heard it from an “it’s a process” viewpoint. Last week I didn’t hear any freedom to be who we are in the here and now but rather what stood out to me then was the perfect Christian ideal relationship which, to me, had a lot of religiosity as well as a lot of ethereal spirituality in it. Kind of like “we should pray while we’re having sex with our spouse” type of thing. Understandably, a lot of folks resonated with that perspective but I found myself quite disappointed. Remember, it’s how I heard it not necessarily how it was intended to be heard. I loved Wayne’s quote which Tracy read as he spoke of continuous growth and change as one’s marriage progresses… “to serve each other in love without the other feeling exploited or used”… then in the podcast Wayne adds “most times”! Loved it! As regarding the transgender issue, I’ve heard so many stories from my daughter in law who has been an ob-gyn and delivery room nurse for over 20 years and she’s seen firsthand the biological and physiological challenges in newborns and I can’t help but think that the same type of challenges from a psychological and spiritual perspective can present themselves in a newborn so who am I to deny the very real possibility of a person being transgendered or gay from birth!! We know so little about these things biologically and my heart breaks to think of the absolute abusive nature of Christians and churches where these challenged souls are concerned. Enough of my ranting. Thanks for this podcast Wayne… it definitely will get some heavy playing time!

  6. I came across the words “created intent” a number of years ago. It helped me get some perspective and parameters around the Creator’s original design and intentions at creation and my own life.

    It is clear we live a long way from the original created intent. I am not sure how much is salvageable in this broken world. Is it even possible for us to return to a place of original intent? How does Christ redeem and restore people when it is clear that created intent is not at work? What do we do when we see God’s original intent not functioning?

    If created intent is the original design, then anything outside of that will not really work well. Since all of creation is clearly not in a state of created intent – including our thoughts and feelings – it becomes difficult to ascertain what is truth in the things we are experiencing. Even if you “feel” a certain way does not make it true. Even if biologically there are reasons for certain expressions of being, it does not make it as God intended.

    The longer I live, the more I realize that it is the “I that is me” that cannot be trusted. My life experiences, filters and corrupt DNA creates a fog that appears as reality but is not. Moral relativism (truth based on my own personal experiences) becomes a sheet of paper in a hurricane with no anchor.

    My own issues with same sex attraction may appear to be real and true and legitimate, but can that be trusted? Am I gay? Or is that because other people said so? Where do the feelings come from? Are my father issues and family of origin playing into a need for male affirmation? What are my real longings that could be masked as an attraction to other men. Is it genetic? Even if it was, which I do not think it is, the fact is that even our DNA is corrupted. So that cannot be trusted either. It is really a mess that we desperately want a solution for.

    So what is truth? What can I believe? What can I hang onto? Who do I believe? Who will guide me throughout the quagmire of brokenness and uncertainty? Is there restoration and/or “healing” available? What if it does not happen? These are questions I asked for years in my own struggle.

    The only one who has been able to guide me through to a degree of rest has been Jesus. His words of truth and comfort bring moments of clarity that point to created intent, and therefore empower me to choose actions that agree with his intent. That does not mean for a moment that the feelings disappear, and the journey is sometimes agonizingly difficult, but in faith (His faith given to me) I can agree with Him and seek to act out accordingly.

    Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

    This might sound a bit too cliché and inconsiderate of people’s struggles. I hear a lot of pain and struggle in the emails above. I KNOW what these feelings are like. The confusion, the uncertainty. The heavy burden. It still lingers, hovering around the edges ready to pounce. But the only place where I have found rest is in time spent with Him, in the security of His love for me. It clears the fog, even if just for a moment, so that I can take the next step towards created intent.

    Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

    I cannot stand here and convince anyone of anything. I know how deep this stuff runs. Each person’s story is their own, and their journey with Jesus is personal and lead by Him. I just want others to know that you really cannot even trust yourself or your feelings, or the things you are convinced are true yet are contrary to his created intent. Everything is warped. Jesus, have mercy on us.

  7. When I was in religion, I used to have quite strong views on issues like gay/transgender, but now that I am out of religion, saved, loved and free, I find it quite puzzling that some issues are ‘up there’ as worse than others, or some things are ‘sins’ and other things are just ‘personality issues’.

    I get that anything related to sexuality gets in deep with people, it’s the most vunerable part of who we are, and perhaps the most insecure, but I very much disagree now, that a sexual issue is any worse than overeating or anger, when it comes to how we stand with Father. As Tracy keeps saying, we are set right with Father now, and nothing can get between us and his love.

    She also says a few times that thinks are not evil or bad, or separating us from Father, things are just ‘not helpful’

    I do agree with this totally, but what is not always clear, is ‘not helpful’ for what? If we are set right with Father, and totally loved, then why are certain things not helpful?

    The answer is fairly basic, but not always thought through, or obvious.

    If the purpose of life is to have and grow our relationship with Father first and then others, then when we are saved and know we are loved, everything else fits into the context of those relationships!

    Things like anger, greed and hate are quite straightforward, as unrelational, both with Father and other people.

    Things relating to sexual issues, (like masturbation, pre marital sex, gay, transgender, affairs, or just a very toxic or unloving sexual life within marriage,) aren’t quite so obvious as to how they are unrelational with Father, and some have no relation to anyone else, as they are done alone, or just a state of who someone feels they are.

    While sexual issues have the potential to be devistating to others, like an affair, speaking from experience, being guilty myself 🙁 , they are no worse, as something like an angry husband or father, which can be just as devistating.

    What I’m trying to say, and I’m not sure I’m actually getting across what I mean, is that all parts of life have a direct link to our relationship with Father. We can’t masturbate alone, and think It has nothing to do with Father. Being transgender may not affect anyone else, but the dynamics inside us do have an affect on how we relate to Father.

    On the other side of this, which has come out quite clear from the posts so far, is that what is unhelpful for someone, may be quite fine for someone else! We are are totally different children of Father, on totally different journeys. Masturbation may very well be, at core, a relational issue for most people, and for some it’s quite ok. Being transgender may very well be a huge struggle for someone to accept, and for someone else, it’s the key to their relationship with Father. We all parent our own children differently, Father is no exception.

    Love the conversation, and that someone is willing to chat about it in a mature and free way!

    Father bless you all on your journeys!

    ( just try to remember that everyone else is on al totally different journey to us, and it is their relationship with Father, and has nothing to do with us, at the end of the day)

Comments are closed.