It Sounds Like God To Me

© Copyright 2007 by Phil Scovell - All Rights Reserved


                        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
          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
     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.