The annual conference I attended last week with Reconciling Ministries Network was like other trips to annual conferences in many ways—except for one small feature. It was at the beach, Jekyll Island specifically. By recommendation of a friend, on my last night there, I went over to driftwood beach.
This section of the island can only be described as hauntingly beautiful.
Strewn about the sand are the remains of old trees, now weathered and misplaced—driftwood.
As I wandered about, it seemed hard to grasp that these massive pieces had been uprooted and tossed about. There was something I noticed though. All the trees, their roots, though wide and massive and taller than me, weren’t very deep.
I found myself wondering: were they shallow to begin with? Is that why they fell? Sure, maybe much of the roots had eroded after the trees feel, but what seems clear is that between the roots and the sandy, shifting foundation they placed themselves in—it wasn’t enough to withstand the constant barrage of waves beating in on them, demanding they bend to the tides.
Have you experienced the tides pull the ground out from under you?
Sure—maybe literally, maybe you have stood on the shore and watched the high tide pull the sand from beneath your feet as you try to keep balance. But more importantly—have you felt the tides of life pull your spiritual foundation out from under you?
I imagine the answer is yes. Being a human is hard. Life throws at us a range of tumultuous tides. Being a transgender person is also hard and brings its own set of challenges. Being a transgender person who also happens to be a Christian adds yet another set of challenges and tumultuous tides.
The reality is, that as transgender people of faith, we need to send our roots deep into our Source in order to stay grounded when life’s waves come our way.
When we are rooted deeply in God, we are able to stay centered.
This doesn’t mean that life isn’t at times stormy, but rather that when it is, we are able to weather the storms rather than be tossed about by them.
This isn’t an easy way of living. It takes practice and spiritual practices to grow our roots deep. For me, this means a regular practice of meditation. For others, it means encountering the Divine through their art or through community.
This summer we have the chance to gather together as Transgender Christians to do just that—stretch our roots a bit deeper and collaborate with each other to deepen our practices and expand our network of love and support.
I want to invite you to consider joining us for our Transgender Christian Retreat: Rooted.
I am excited for the creative experiences that our planning team is putting together for us to recharge, reconnect with our source, and learn from each other. Through worship, fellowship, and interactive learning we will spend our weekend together finding healing and gaining strength for the journey.
If you haven’t registered already I invite you to do so. I would love to see what it is that you will bring and what gifts and wisdom you will share with us.
For more information on Rooted or to register for this transformative conference, click here. Are you an ally and wish to donate towards scholarships for transgender and gender non-conforming attendees? Click here to donate!
Photo provided by Reconciling Ministries Network