… God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide you a way out so that you can stand up under it.
The words of 1 Corinthians 10:13 rang in my ears as I knelt and sobbed. “Please take my life, Lord, I want to die.” I was facing the breakup of my marriage of over 20 years, the estrangement of my college-student son, and the loss of my secure medical practice. All because I could no longer “stand up under it.”
From my earliest memories I knew I was different. I was told to play with the boys, to do as they did, to be one of them. But I knew it wasn’t right. I was a girl — or I should have been. I also knew it would be a dangerous mistake to voice these feelings to anyone in the late 1950s. I feared for my safety. I had no idea what transgenderism was, and how much it was a part of my own life.
Desperately I tried to be “normal” and fit in. At first I convinced myself I would forget these feelings if I married and had a family. When my gender conflict continued to intensify after marriage, I prayed for “a way out.” I knew in my heart that I had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I remembered the initial experience of giving myself to Him and, with the same sincerity, I asked Him to take away these feelings of being a woman. After all, in the past He had dealt with selfishness, bigotry, and so many other sins which had burdened me.
But never, not once, did I experience relief from the gender conflict. It became much worse as I saw myself aging in a male body. I knew I could not continue to live a lie, withholding from my friends and family my true nature. How could God not care?
My time of disclosure was as bad as I had anticipated. I lost family, friends, money and job. I moved to another state to make my life changes, and with time was quite successful in my new life as a woman. Finally the time came for my sex reassignment surgery. In a hospital room in a distant city I knelt to pray for God’s protection in the next day’s events. And just as clearly as I ever heard any voice, I heard Him say to me, “Becky, this is your way out.”
You see, God does not need to deliver us from parts of our lives which are not a sin! I finally realized He created me this way for His own purposes, and had given me the great blessing of being able to resolve this conflict between body and spirit. He fulfilled the verse from Corinthians in a marvelous and surprising way.
Now I have a wonderful new life and medical practice, with many new friends. I write a column for a Christian news-and-support letter for transgender persons, and I try to share with others who are just starting this journey that God loves them and will guide them through it as He did for me. He really does answer prayers!
Phoenix cardiologist Rebecca Anne Allison, M.D., was born in Greenwood, Miss., and earned her undergraduate and medical degrees and completed her medical training in Mississippi before moving to Atlanta and then Phoenix to continue her transition. Raised Baptist, she later found a home in the United Church of Christ. Since starting her first cardiology practice in Phoenix, she has served as a board member and past President of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, chair of the American Medical Association’s Advisory Committee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues, and on the board of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.