Through Discovery Bible Study, God is transforming her entire life
Michael met Jill, a transgender woman, at a Wendy's. Jill saw that Michael was praying and reading the Bible, and wanted to join! Since then, Jill and Michael have met for Discovery Bible Study for 22 weeks straight. God is carrying out remarkable transformation in Jill's heart.
A Transgender Woman Invited Herself to Our DBS
My wife and I frequent a Wendy's restaurant near us. Week after week, we saw someone who appeared to be a transgender woman sitting at one of the tables. God has been working on my heart toward people from the LGBTQ community, such as in my story with Mary. So, my thought wasn't, "Why are they living that way?" Instead, it was, "I need to get to know them!" One day, I was doing a Discovery Bible Study with two other people at Wendy's, and the transgender lady came and sat two tables away from us. I was walking back from the restroom and God spoke to me: "Okay, you wanted to meet this person. Now's your time! Go to the table, introduce yourself, and go from there!" So I went up to the table and introduced myself. "I see you in Wendy's all the time. You seem to be here a lot!" I said. "Yes I do," and before I could ask anything else, she asked, "Is that a prayer group you've got back there?" "Well, we do pray, but we're actually a little group that studies passages about the Bible to find out what we can learn about God and ourselves. Then we apply it and share it with others," I explained.
Before I even knew her name, Jill asked, "Is that something I can join?"
Without even asking my friends, I said, "Yeah!"
Jill is Hungrier for the Word than Any Christian I Know
The four of us met the next week, but we only met for the introductory questions of "What are you thankful for?" and "What has stressed you out lately?" This Discovery Group was already on their 7th week, and I wanted to start back in Genesis with Jill to make sure she also receives a good Biblical foundation. Since that day, I have met with Jill for 22 weeks in a row without missing a meeting! What has been very challenging to me is, putting aside that Jill is transgender, she talks and acts as though she is a solid believer. She is hungrier for the Word than any Christian I know right now. She asks the most awesome questions and has the softest heart. She even asked to go prayer walking with me in the neighborhood. Through this process, I have to get outside of myself. I go into restaurants with her, and she's dressed up as a transgender woman with her purse and all. I have to put all that aside and focus on her as someone hungry for Jesus. Although she didn't claim to be a believer when I met her, she told me that she's "mostly with Jesus." As a proclamation evangelist, I considered telling her how to accept Jesus in the moment. But I resolved to trust the Discovery Bible Study process and let God do His work through the Word and the Holy Spirit. God is teaching me patience through this process. One day, I showed her my daily Scripture reading, prayer, and obedience habits. "How often should a person do this?" Jill asked. "Well," I said, "it's our daily Bread—wouldn't you want to ask God daily what He wants you to do?" Since then, Jill has emulated my daily devotional habits and posted about it on her Facebook profile, which is a pretty wild page.
How God is Transforming a Transgender Woman
There are so many things God is teaching Jill through Scripture that I can't even begin to cover it all. One day, I asked, "What did you do yesterday?" "I prayed all day," Jill answered. "I sat with God all day and He showed me some very hard things." "Well, like what?"
Without batting an eye, she said, "God showed me that many of my sexual practices are wrong."
"Okay!" I was stunned. I had never even brought up her sexuality before. I didn't even want to know about her personal sex life. This was 100% God speaking straight to her. In addition, she obeys what we read in our Discovery Studies. And she shares the stories with her housemates, one of whom is also transgender, and with people from the LGBTQ community who she knows on social media. I've been teaching her the basic habits of disciple-making. She eats up whatever I show her. The thing that boggles my mind is that she actually does it. She is the most unlikely person I would have ever thought, but God is transforming her.
I Always Point Back to the Bible
One of the messy parts is Jill's gender identity. She has told me before that she believes she was born this way, and that she didn't choose to be transgender. I told God, "You're gonna have to sort out this gender issue." Recently, Jill asked, "Where does Jesus say that we'll get a new body one day?" Then I pointed her to what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. "I'm going to share this with my roommate," Jill resolved, "she has a hard time with her own body. She doesn't understand why God would give her a body like hers." Whenever Jill asks me questions, I always say, "I want to point you back to the Bible because I don't want you to get answers based on what I say. Don't listen to me unless I can show it to you in the Bible!" My friendship with Jill has sharpened me and keeps me on my toes. It is a gift from God in my life, and I am so grateful for it. I'm praying and trusting God that he will completely change Jill's heart.
Michael's story shows how God has prepared people who want to seek Him. People are waiting for you to be obedient and talk to them! If Michael had ignored God's prompting, who knows when Jill would have been brought into God's Word? Patience is key in disciple-making. Michael decided not to skip straight to a gospel message, instead trusting God to speak through the Word in DBS. In addition, Michael is trusting God to redeem Jill's sexuality. And God has already been doing remarkable things in Jill! Always point unbelievers to Scripture for answers. Michael ensures that Jill goes to the Bible for her questions so that she won't have to rely on Michael but on God for truth.
Podcast: Not sure how to answer questions in your DBS?
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