We all have experiences that don’t exactly fit the pattern of what we would expect. But when we experience the exact opposite of what anyone would expect it is either a great irony or the hand of God.
Not that long ago I was living in Seattle Washington. We had lived in Washington for over 20 years and had spent the last decade-plus in Seattle.
For those that don’t know, Seattle is about as left as it gets. If it is environmental, social, or liberal in any way, Seattle is likely at the cutting edge.
I have never lived in a city that is more open and diverse. On my bus rides to work, I would commonly hear a variety of different languages being spoken. Most people feel quite free to express themselves however they want. This is no less true for the LGBT community.
Was this not the perfect place for me to find myself? Aside from a few cities in California, I can not think of a better place for me to explore the part of me I buried so long ago.
Yet that wasn’t God’s plan for me. He chose one of the most conservative states in the union to bless me with some of the most wonderful people I have ever known to be part of my journey.
At the time I had no idea why God was moving me and my family to Utah. But one day in Seattle we got up hoping to hear there was a job offer, but still nothing. In despair, we prayed about what to do. When we were done, my wife and I both felt it was time for a trip.
We had no job offer in hand, our finances had gotten quite low, we had no promises, yet we both felt God was saying that we should head to Utah.
That was right after breakfast. We spent the rest of the day getting ready to leave. Everything seemed to take longer than we had hoped. Then there was the hard part of leaving our kids (all teens and adults) while my wife and I headed out into the unknown.
But God didn’t leave us wondering for very long. Before we got on the freeway to head east we got a call letting us know that the job offer was finally officially complete.
The next few days were almost surrealistic. Everything fell into place. I was signing paperwork for my new job on the second day of our trip. We needed to find a place to live. Given our time frame, we were expecting to be in a small apartment, but we ended up in a wonderful two-story house. Our money was starting to get low and then I found out we were getting move allowance. It was like we were along for the ride as God put everything in place.
Was all of this just for a job?
It was only shortly before this that we realized I might be transgender. At that time I don’t think we were expecting that discovery to amount to that much.
But as the next few months unfolded and the reality of who I am grew it became more and more obvious that this wasn’t just an element of who I am. It was central to all that I am. So much of my personality and the way I look at life is from a feminine perspective.
As that reality came into focus, we started working with various professionals to figure out where all of this was leading me. All of which culminated in my fully accepting that I am transgender and that I want to be me.
Along the way, I have been blessed with so many special people. Like my therapist who gently guided me to what I already knew deep down. Then there are my special friends at work who lovingly accepted me for who I am and gave me the courage to move forward. There is the rest of my office, all of which have been so supportive. And there is the local Pride center full of people who have given me the strength to be me. I could go on.
Why didn’t this happen in Seattle?
Wasn’t that the perfect place?
NO, not for me.
For me, HaShem had a special place full of very special people. The perfect people to guide me, to show me who I am.