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Defining Temptation,
Escape, and Expectations

Dear family of TG-C:

In my mind, as I read several letters, three
areas touch my heart:

  • Our actions to lessen the dysphoria (severe
    discomfort);
  • Other persons re-actions to our actions;
    and
  •  Expectations being shattered or betrayed.

I'll start with this saying, "A shattered vessel can
hold no wine."

But then, I'll add this verse,  "God he will not let
you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But
when you are tempted, he will also provide a
way out."  


Let's define 'temptation' first; and
then let's define the escape
accordingly.

For some within the TG spectrum, the
temptation is "to dress"; for others, the
temptation is to become "frozen emotionally";
for others the temptation is to "flee or fight"; for
others, the temptation is to end their own life;
for others, there are yet still different
temptations.

I softly offer that each person has to determine
what the temptation truly is... and then work
with God to discover the proper escape.  

    For example, if I keep saying that my
    temptation is "dress" when in reality my
    temptation is to "flee or fight", then I would
    improperly purge everything in my closet.  
    Which is sad, because I truly need a support
    group and an outlet to work through the
    pendulum sensations of wanting to flee,
    then wanting to fight.  The "flee or fight"
    binary model can be so very real to some,
    and result in extreme behaviors that cause
    their own class of instability.  In this
    example, I do not need purging; I need
    stability.

    What if the temptation is to withdraw
    mentally and commit emotional suicide?  Or
    to commit physical suicide?  What do I truly
    need at that point?  I offer that at such a
    severe point in time, I need the quickest
    companionship I can find.  When I recover
    from the severity, I need to take a god-
    given escape so that the severity does not
    conquer me again.  I do not need to be
    debating the merits of male-presentation
    versus female-presentation.  I need survival
    tactics.

Once the god-given escape is shown, then I
think we should accept such as from the hand of
our Lord.  

    - Here is a an example of such an escape:  
    "In Damascus the governor under King
    Aretas had the city of the Damascenes
    guarded in order to arrest me. But I was
    lowered in a basket from a window in the
    wall and slipped through his hands."  [II Cor
    11]    

    God gave that man - the Apostle Paul - no
    angels, no miracles, no horse, no army, and
    no miracle ... but He gave the Apostle-elect
    a basket and friends and a long rope.  I
    hope you catch the oddity of God's escape;
    I hope you see the lack of the "miracle
    cure"....

However, even a God-given way to escape the
dysphoria - so that you can bear under it - will
most likely create re-actions in others.  


Let's rethink our own set of
expectations.

Re-actions can be very severe.  Our Jesus said
this:

    "Think not that I am come to send peace on
    earth: I came not to send peace, but a
    sword. For I am come to set a man at
    variance against his father, and the
    daughter against her mother, and the
    daughter in law against her mother in law.
    And a man's foes shall be they of his own
    household. "

Dear sisters-in-Christ, the rules of the game did
not change before you manifested a TG
presentation of spirit, soul, or body.  

What makes us think that the rules are now so
wonderfully different than the words of Christ,
which will never pass away:  "A man's foes shall
be they of his own household"?  

We need to mature our expectations.

Thus, I offer that we have to be more mature
than they, mourn the loss, and move through
the grieving cycle.  And then serve our Lord
Jesus.  It is the quiet serving of God that
persuades the hearts of others that observe us.  
Indeed, as they watch us, as years go into
years, they are amazed to see such "gold
refined in the fire".

The last statement sounds so cruel... as if your
pain does not matter.  As if the furnace that
purifies our faith is so much more important.  
Perhaps those of us that are the grossest of the
gold, need the most heat in the shortest time:

  • in March of one year, I had a breakdown
    and began anti-depressants;
  • in April, I was sexually/gender harassed at
    work to the point of being advised that I
    had a legal case;
  • in May, I was fired by my boss since the
    sexual harasser brought his company
    contract money;
  • in June, on Father's Day eve, while
    physically shaking from sudden emotions, a
    friend abandoned me as I requested her
    help face-to-face, she left me to kill myself
    and die alone;
  • in July, driven by nightmares, I attended a
    small church that knew me before, and just
    four days later, the pastor sent a fear-filled
    hate message of shunning to me.  

The furnace is not polite, to say the least.  Satan
orchestrates hit after hit, as he did to Job
centuries ago, in a cadence that is designed to
get a person to "curse God and die".  

I am not sure why I have expectations that are
so different from the scriptures.  I truly, in my
heart of hearts, thought, "when I take God's
escape given to me for my particular temptation,
all of mankind will sing and adore me."   

Not.

Here is the short history of someone that
followed God's escape from Damascus, and then
later, followed God with all his heart.  Please
notice how much the world sang, and how
deeply the choirs of this world adored Paul the
Apostle:  

  •  "I have worked much harder, been in
    prison more frequently, been flogged more
    severely, and been exposed to death again
    and again.

  •  "Five times I received from the Jews the
    forty lashes minus one.

  •  "Three times I was beaten with rods, once
    I was stoned, three times I was
    shipwrecked,

  •  "I spent a night and a day in the open sea,
    I have been constantly on the move.

  •  "I have been in danger from rivers,
    in danger from bandits,
    in danger from my own countrymen,
    in danger from Gentiles;
    in danger in the city,
    in danger in the country,
    in danger at sea; and
    in danger from false brothers.

  •  "I have labored and toiled and have often
    gone without sleep;

  •   "I have known hunger and thirst and have
    often gone without food; I have been cold
    and naked.

  •  "Besides everything else, I face daily the
    pressure of my concern for all the churches.

  •   "Who is weak, and I do not feel weak?
    Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly
    burn? "  [II Corinthians 11]


I want to say again, that following God's escape
from a particular temptation is wise.  It may be
costly though.  Christ said that it would be costly;
Paul's life shows the cost penny by penny.

I was in shock during July and August of that
year.  Not because of what was done to me, but
because of my expectations that were
shattered.  

Please understand what I just wrote, I think it
will help -- that which is done to us is not the
problem,
the problem is the shattering of
expectations
that we believe like children that
watch the chimney for Santa each December.

Just now, my mail message program has popped
up on my screen, and shows that an email has
arrived from a person I once protected, that has
not spoken to me for years once she learned I
was TS.  I have not opened her email, yet.  Why
not?  I am centering myself and checking my
expectations.  I am realigning my expectations
to those of Christ:

- I expect a wounded person's response;
- I expect anger, hurt, and lashing out;
- I will force myself to see their wounds;
- I will have compassion on them, and bind their
wounds (not mine), and pour in oil and wine.
- I expect no thanks, for I am a Samaritan, and
the culture of hate is too great within the church
people;
- I expect no applause from man, for the culture
of control and no-forgiveness rules within my
own blood-family.
- I will turn the other cheek;
- I will give blessing when cursed;
- And, when the exchange is over, I will hear the
praise of God.

I offer that amidst all this furnace, that we
should define "what" is the temptation, accept
God's way to escape and "bear under it", and
change our expectations to match those of
Christ;  and then be moved with compassion and
heal their wounds with the oil of listening, trying
to understand, and the wine of the gentle Words
of Christ.  


"Enoch walked with God, and was not, for God
took him."  Walking with God is the final defense
and the final epitaph.  It has always been so;
becoming TG-anything has not changed our
goals.  Walk with Him... walk with Him... walk
with Him.   And we will hear, "Well done, thou
good and faithful servant".

Much love in Christ always and unconditionally;

Caryn


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(c) Copyright Caryn LeMur 2007
The Collection of Short Works,
Letters, and Poems
Defining Temptation, Escape, & Expectations
God will provide you a way to
escape every temptation, right?

Well... that's a popular American
Christian teaching.

The actual scripture says this:

    "No temptation has seized
    you except what is common
    to man. And God is faithful; he
    will not let you be tempted
    beyond what you can bear.
    But when you are tempted,
    he will also provide a way out
    so that you can stand up
    under it."  [I Corinthians 10]

What is the real temptation?  
What is the "way out"?  What
does it mean to "stand up under
it?"  What does this scripture do to
our simplified American
expectations?

Let's explore those thoughts now.

Hugs!  Caryn
In Deepest Sympathy -
Poetry for those that grieve
Building Faith, Hope, & Love -
Stories and Writings
A Cup Of Cold Water -
Letters For The Thirsty
A Pause In The Forest -
Poetry for thoughtful moments