© Copyright 2007 by Phil Scovell - All Rights Reserved
12 You Should Have Been A Woman By Phil Scovell I have three very early childhood memories. The first one I couldn't have been more than three months old, according to my mother, and maybe even younger. My mother was giving me a bath in the kitchen sink. I remember looking down over the side of the sink and seeing the floor. It was tile and every other square was an alternating sharp blue and a bright yellow. I honestly remember thinking, "Boy, is that ugly." When I was a teenager, I mentioned this memory to my mother and she said, "That's impossible." When I asked why, she said, "Because, we only had that flooring down when you were a baby. Before you were much older, your dad remodel the kitchen and put in a totally different floor. We don't even have any pictures of that old kitchen so you couldn't have even seen a picture of it." I told her that I well remembered sitting in the sink and seeing that blue and yellow checkered floor pattern and commenting to myself how indeed ugly it truly was. Another time, and this was likely even earlier in my life, I remember laying on my back in a crib in the basement of a church with a baby bottle in my mouth. It was early evening, about twilight it seemed due to the light filtering down through the basement windows, and I remember sensing that I was completely alone but I wasn't afraid. In fact, I felt warm and secure. My father, by the way, used to preach in Iowa country churches. Often the family would go with him and then we would drive home after the evening service was over. This was one of those times, apparently, and the memory is solidly fixed in my mine. The third memory I have was just at the time I was learning to walk. I remember walking through our living room and looking for my mother. I remember going slow because I tottered as I walked. We only had one bedroom downstairs and that was my parent's bedroom. I remember seeing the door to the bedroom partially closed. I pushed on it as I walked into the room. There was my mom. I was frozen into immobility because of what I saw. I had never seen a totally naked woman before. Mom was changing clothes. I was shocked. I felt as if I should not be in this room and seeing my mother naked. The memory goes suddenly dead at this point. It is this third memory I want to explain in more detail because of how it affected my life for nearly five decades. As my 50th birthday approached, I began looking at my life. Besides, I felt that I was now getting old and I had very little time left. My kids were grown and married and had their own children. I tried to encourage myself by mentally listing all I had done in my life, since I would not be living much longer due to my advanced age, and although I could list some things that were good, I couldn't feel the goodness and joy associated with those accomplishments. I knew it was depression creeping up on me because I had gone through three severe years of depression in the early nineties, but regardless of what I did, the darkness crept ominously closer with each passing day. My 50th birthday had been the last day of February that year and it was now June of that same year. Suddenly, and without warning, anxiety crashed down upon me like the side of a mountain giving way and burying me alive. I heard voices. I stopped eating. I stopped sleeping. I tried to stop thinking but that was one thing I found impossible to shut down. Five days passed without sleep, with little food and little water, and without the voices going away. I told my wife during those days, I felt like I was whirling around at the top of a large funnel and I was dropping slowly and helplessly down the sides toward the bottom. Furthermore, there was nothing to grab in order to stop what was happening. Eventually, I knew, I would drop out the bottom and then I would be dead. About six weeks later, the Lord led me to a man who knew how to pray. I sat in his office for several weeks, and months, in prayer sessions that lasted from 90 minutes to sometimes three hours. The Lord came time and time again and healed parts of my mind that needed renewing and one of those places was the third childhood memory I have already described. To understand the meaning of that memory, we need to review something which happened in the year 1979 when I was 27 years old. I became an assistant pastor in western Colorado in mid 1978 and Sandy and I had been married for 6 years and had a little boy, Trenton, who was about 2 years of age at that time. Before this time, I had been traveling as a guest speaker in churches and had been traveling a great deal. It was the pastor of this church who had heard me preach at a youth camp that had asked me to move from Denver to western Colorado to serve as his assistant pastor. We spent the better part of two years living in a brand new home, in a town of only 800 people, and serving in a church of about 60 members. We loved it and we loved the people. It was probably the best time in my life. I had never been as happy as I was in that little town and serving in that church under a pastor whom I greatly admired and loved as a man of God. During this time, and largely due to a good pastor's ministerial tutelage, I became interested in pastoring a church of my own. I was already an assistant pastor, the youth pastor, I did nursing home ministry each week, led the singing, and assisted the pastor in every area of ministry. I learned more, from this one man theologically, and as far as ministry work was concerned, than I did from anyone. Plus, I felt the pastor had become one of my best friends. He was most certainly my mentor and more than anything else, he loved people. One day, the pastor called me into his office and told me that he felt he was being called to resign from the church and move to another mountain town to begin a new church. We had recently had some disagreements, which normally occurs between friends, and it was his opinion that it would be better if he did not openly recommend me to take his place. However, he said, he was positive they would ask me to take his place anyhow. His words didn't feel exactly right somehow but the possibility was definitely in my favor. I knew I would indeed be the next pastor of this church and my greatest wish and dream would be fulfilled. I remember leaving his office that evening and going to the back of the church facilities with my youth group and being so happy, I could hardly talk. I even sat down and, for the first time, played the piano for the first time for the teenagers and taught them some songs we later would sing before the church. I wasn't all that good at playing the piano but the kids loved it and it became a regular part of our Sunday night youth meetings. I was spiritually and emotionally euphoric. In fact, I could not then, nor now, describe how wonderful I felt. As the weeks past, a 3-man pulpit committee was formed. They would be the men who would find what we called candidates and they would be interviewed. I wasn't worried because I knew I would be first and I knew 99 percent of the church would vote me in as the next pastor. Yet, as each week past, nothing happened and no announcements were made. People began asking me when I would become their next pastor. I had to reply that I didn't know and they would have to ask the 3 men who made up the pulpit committee. The pastor starting turning complete Sundays over to me as he traveled to other small mountain towns trying to get a feel for where he should begin a new church. I was in hog Heaven. I had never been this happy, or felt this good, in my life. At just 27 years of age, I was going to get my first opportunity to pastor a church. This was a perfect place to raise children, we had a Christian school, solid church members whom I loved dearly, and the new home we lived in had been purchased through nothing short of a divine intervention by the Lord. It couldn't get any better but it was soon to get worse than I ever could have possibly have imagined. One night, just after the Sunday evening service, the youngest man on the pulpit committee came and asked me if I could meet with them in the pastor's office just briefly. I was so excited. This was my big day. I could hardly contain myself. They were going to tell me I was their first choice. I couldn't have been more wrong. Sitting down, I soon learned that I would not be asked to pastor the church. I was told that I knew too much about the people of the church. It would be better, they said, if they got some man as a pastor who knew nothing about our church problems and situations. The longer they talked, the heavier my body became. I had never felt the weight of my blindness like this before. Their words even felt heavy and it seemed as if I had stopped breathing. I knew two things. First, they weren't going to let me be their pastor because I was blind. They never used the word blind that night but it was there, as big as an elephant in the living room; a blind elephant. Secondly, they spoke a partial truth; they didn't want me because, they said, "You even know too much about us." If you are thinking, they had no idea what a pastor was supposed to be, you would be right. Just before leaving, they asked if I had any questions or comments. I said no because you have obviously already made up your minds without ever once asking me any questions. I had agreed to remain as their interim pastor until they decided upon a new pastor. Why I agreed to that, I will never know, except that, in the back of my mind, I hoped they would change their mind. Four months later, the new pastor took over. I put my home on the market and soon moved back to Denver. The youngest member of the pulpit committee gave me a ride home that night after the horrible news had been delivered. We were the same age and close friends and I loved him like the brother I never had. I could not think of a single word to say to my friend on the way home. My mind simply wasn't working. His car felt like a cold tomb to me, my mind was blank, and it felt like I was carrying a hundred pound sack of concrete on my back. My friend tried to encourage me by telling me that the Lord would give me a church some day but I told him I found that hard to believe. He asked why. I told him if they had seen and watched what I could do for the last year and a half, and if they, who had heard me preach, and had watched me develop the youth group, couldn't even give me a chance, how could I expect anyone else to do the same. That night, my wife and I cried as if our child had unexpectedly died. We had been rejected and, we both knew, it was largely due to our blindness. I awakened at 2 o'clock in the morning and noticed my wife wasn't in bed. I heard her in the living room crying almost uncontrollably. I thought of getting out of bed and going to try and encourage her but I felt as badly as she did and I was unable to move. A few days later, my friend came to the house. I don't recall how, but the subject of their refusal to even allow me to try being the pastor surfaced in the conversation. He admitted to me privately, that they had discussed my blindness and came to the conclusion that they, these three sighted men, could not see how a blind man could pastor a church so their decision was based upon my blindness. The weight became even heavier and the rejection I felt for the first time since I had lost my sight grew so dense, I felt as if I were suffocating. My wife's sister offered to pay her way to come for a visit, along with our newly born daughter, and our son. She left for a week. I had lots of things around the house to keep me busy, the house was on the market and would soon sell in the ever increasing house market of that day, and we would be moving. The death of my father, the loss of my sight a year later, and hundreds of other things began falling on me and sticking. The weight increased during that week my wife and children were gone. Loneliness and a feeling of isolation became almost tangible. One night, while my wife was gone, I stayed up quite late. I didn't want to go to bed until I was so sleepy, I couldn't stand up. The last thing I wanted to do is lay in bed and think. It was at this time, I heard the voice saying, "You should have been a woman. You'd make a better woman than a man." I had no idea where that voice was coming from in my thoughts but it frightened me in ways I had never experienced in my life and I shrank from it. I was a man, though, and to prove it, I allowed my masculine sexuality to show itself. Not understanding why, I soon walked naked throughout the house as if I were drugged. I honestly felt as if I were losing my mind. Something dark and evil hung in the air and I fought to maintain control but felt myself losing. "See? You should have been a woman," the voice said again. I tried to argue but was too weak, it seemed, to defend myself. "If you were a woman, you could serve others but as a man, you are rejected." The rejection almost formed into a figure and I felt desperate. "Why don't you go outside. No one will care," the voice taunted. I fought back. Breathing hard and tears in my eyes, I went to our bedroom and found my wife's clothes. If I was a woman, maybe I should act like one. I put my wife's clothes on and soon sexually fulfilled myself and then cried myself to sleep due to total emotional exhaustion. When I awakened the next morning, I Now carried the massive weight of guilt and shame on top of rejection. The ministry was over for me and I knew it. My remaining 4 months in that town were agonizing but I stayed and continually hoped those three men would change their mind. It never happened. The only good thing that happened during that time was the surprise party the youth group had for me. When our home sold, we moved back to Denver and tried to start over. I told my wife what I had done and although I knew their was a reason, I couldn't find one. Almost another 25 years would pass, and I would be 50 years of age, before the Lord revealed the truth. Fast forward now from that experience at 27 years of age to my 50th year of life. Keep in mind, too, what all I have already said about turning 50 years of age. Recall the depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and demonic voices I was hearing. I knew the voices I heard were indeed demonic because they often encouraged me to kill myself. Yet, everything I tried to do to send them away wouldn't work. During one of our prayer sessions, the memory of my naked mother changing her clothes in the bedroom as I walked precariously into her bedroom and saw her, flashed into my mind with amazing forcefulness. As we prayed in and around this fragment of a memory, it seemed frozen in time. Could she had molested me? It was possible but there was no memory of such behavior. Perhaps it was suppressed? Possibly. It would be two more prayer sessions until the truth was revealed. In the subsequent prayer session that revealed the truth, I found myself once again in my mother's bedroom. I could hear my own thoughts. "I shouldn't be in here. I shouldn't be seeing this. Something is wrong." I felt fear but couldn't easily identify it at the time. As my prayer partner continued praying, he said, "Phil, look at the little boy. Watch him and listen to what he is thinking." I could hear the man in the room with me praying. I saw myself, the little boy, standing there with a perplexed facial expression. Suddenly, I heard the other voice. "See? You should have been a woman." Instantly, my mind flashed across more than a quarter century of time until it struck at the heart of the rejection I felt being turned down as a pastor due to my blindness. The same words, "You should have been a woman. You'd make a better woman than a man," echoed in my thoughts. Now I understood. A lie that had been planted in the mind of an innocent little boy before his mind was capable of reason or discernment had been suppressed due to fear he felt. The Enemy, at that split second in time, took advantage of his little mind and planted a lie. It was a lie he, the Evil One, would patiently wait to use once again to bring massive mental and emotion confusion. The Enemy waited all these years to attempt to destroy one man's life, family, and relationship with God for ever. Like a coiled snake, he sensed the exact time to strike his victim when it would do maximum damage to dozens of people. In my mind, now as a 50 year old man, upon hearing the lie the first time as a little boy, instantly recognized when the snake struck the second time using the same identical lie. The Two memories, separated by nearly 50 years, merged and exploded like two colliding suns. All the hurt and pain and rejection and confusion about what God had created me to be, crystallized and God's truth blasted the woundedness and pain out of existence. I wasn't a woman. It was a lie I had heard when I was too young to comprehend and you thought Satan played fair. After being turned down to be the pastor of that small mountain town church and moving back to Denver, I tried reconstructing my travel ministry once again. I obtained a few meetings but those weeks were the loneliest and most discouraging I had ever faced. I had sinned, after all, and if people listening to me preach knew I had put on women's clothes, they would run me out of the building. Still, I preached and I cried when I was alone. I couldn't tell anybody. My wife was the only person on earth who knew what I had done. She probably thought I was crazy anyway. I knew anyone else I told would also believe I was crazy. What was I going to do? I couldn't stay in the ministry any longer. Following my last preaching trip, I went home and eventually started a high speed cassette duplicating business for churches across the country. It would be another 23 years before I learned the truth that a demon had whispered a lie into my childhood mind and the truth indeed would set me free. Some reading this true testimony stopped reading because it sounded too theologically weird and ridiculous to them. Some of you felt uncomfortable. This is probably because the Holy Spirit touched something inside of your life the triggered the discomfort. If so, that's good because it means Jesus wants to heal your woundedness just like He did for me. He wants to renew your mind so you can become closer to Him than you ever dreamed possible. Don't you want to know why you cross dress, have been labeled a transvestite, homosexual, lesbian, or want to even have a complete sex change? Why not call me, if you feel led to, and lets talk about it and see what the Lord wants to do in your life.