“I’ve had many prophets come into my life…each telling different pieces of the same story…”
This post is for people who believe in things like prophets, visions, and miracles. I’ve had many prophets come into my life…each telling different pieces of the same story. My grandmother was the first prophet I ever knew. Her and I shared similar visions for the miracles that would happen in the world around us. My grandmother used to tell me all the time that my life was going to upset a lot of people, but to not let them or the pain from the process stop me. She said that I was going to shock them all and that God was going to use me to heal a lot of people and that I had no idea what was in store for me…but that I needed to stay strong. That was actually one of the last things she said to me before she died.
My grandmother died 6/18/04 and my father took his life 4 days later. When they died, the paradigm of my entire life shifted. I grew up very religious but I had always maintained spiritual curiosities. The deaths of my grandmother and father, however, brought the beginning of what I feel like was the unfoldment of my soul’s journey toward wholeness. There was so much that I had to process when they died, so much unresolved business and pain.
All the time I spent grieving, processing, feeling lost, being angry and feeling abandoned led me to a place of introspection and I began to journey deeper. Life became a dark hole that none of the scripture I had memorized seemed to fill. Depression and death left an imprint on my soul and I was unraveling at the seams. The deaths of my parents, ending with the death of my mother in 2009, ushered into my life the process of my gender transition. For it was these events, the presence of death, that showed me how necessary death was in order for life to emerge. Every end is a beginning; I began to transform. In learning how to conquer their deaths, I was able to accept my own death and mourn the person I always wanted to be for the benefit of others that I knew deep down I never was. I was then able to accept myself as transgender and accept the uncertain certainties of life.
“Every end is a beginning; I began to transform…”
I was teased and suffered childhood trauma in my younger years, and my grandmother would say, “there’s something great about faith!” She used to tell me this as I cried on her lap from the weight of the pain I was carrying from the cruelty of others. She would say, “all you need is a little bit, the size of a mustard seed to be exact, and watch God work it out. Let them talk about you…they talked about Jesus…we are no better than Him”. She always knew when I was hurting…when the weight of the world and the weight of being different would take its toll on me. But she always said I had an assignment, a job, and that each of my experiences would all work together for my good one day. She may not have carried me in her womb but she carried my soul through some of my most crippling times. I told her that I would miss her when she died, that I didn’t know how I would continue without her advice and her word. She used to tell me that she would be of more use to me “up there” than she ever was here on earth…and you know what, she is right!
Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of her somehow. And now, as I sit here and look at all the things unfolding around me–being able to inspire and connect with people all over the world, and knowing that everyday I get to be an extension of the love I feel on the inside of me. When I read the messages people send me from Thailand, Malaysia, Canada, Iceland, Mississippi, Georgia, Mexico, Brazil, China, the UK, and countless other countries–each telling me that I’ve changed their lives…making them feel more whole; I hear my grandmother’s voice say, “see what I told you; I always said you’d change the world!” Bless God!
Rev. Lawrence T. Richardson is the Founding Pastor of Shift UCC (an out of the box ministry for out of the box people), founder & CEO of Stand-To-Urimate (a transgender supplies company), and writer who enjoys nature, traveling, food, Jesus, and dreaming. Check him out on the Web www.LTRichardson.com and Twitter: @Larry2_0.