How can I begin to tell the story? What do you say to something that continues to pop up? Is it a reminder…is it a sign…is it a message…
It would happen all the time over the course of about 10 years or more. I looked back on old journals and I could read references to it. What was the message? Was I missing insight? Why couldn’t I figure it out? It had to mean something to keep popping up everywhere.
10-22 is my birthdate. I was born October 22, 1963. 10-22 thus, my favorite number. I would see it on billboards, letterhead, hotel rooms in movies. I would look at the clock or send an email exactly at 10:22. This happened over and over again. I would wake up at 10:22 time after time. It was so bad one time, I had a clock my sister had given me. I had it plugged in but not set to the right time so it just flashed running about two hours behind all the time. I came home from work, working on nights then and went to bed that morning around 8:00a. I woke up, looked at the clock and it said 10:22am. It was sunny and bright and I took a picture (I believe in my heart of hearts, I took the picture to make sure I wasn’t loosing it) I didn’t think a whole lot about it but for some reason, I felt like I needed proof. I was still very sleepy as you can imagine. With the exception of a potty break (according to my flashing clock, around 4:00p, ) I slept most of the day and into the night. I was working 12 hour rotations then and I had just worked three days in a row so the first day off, you usually just sleep. Wanna guess what time I woke up? 10:22p-it was night time…I was so taken aback by this I took another picture and I started to cry. How could I wake up and see the clock say 10:22 am and then go back to sleep and wake up at the same exact time that night, 10:22 pm. I begged God to tell me what the message was. It felt so distinct, it had to be relevant in some way. Why couldn’t I figure out what the message was. The mystery continued to haunt me as did the periodical 10-22 pop ups here and there throughout my life.
Fast forward a bit-say about 2 or 3 years. I had retired, totally unexpected and definitely a story for another time but, I wasn’t working anymore. It was July. I had been officially retired since May 1, that same year. I had an opportunity to do some advocacy work for the LGBT community. This was always a dream of mine that I thought would never come true; I had another 15 years to do in law enforcement before I could retire so…..I would just dream. I put in for the advocacy position and I got an interview. I was notified the first week in September that I had gotten the position!
10-22 was still hanging around. On things I would read, emails that I would see, dates from correspondences from other entities that would cross my path. As I was being prepped for my new position during the final weeks in September, my official start date was when…October 22, 2014. Now the person hiring me and doing the training had no idea it was my birthday. October 22, 2014 was my first day at the rest of my life. I had begun my dream. I was doing it. It came true.
I know I’m not alone when I say this…many people feel that they have journeyed through life to the point where there is a book inside of them waiting to be discovered. I too am one of those people. I wasn’t always absolutely sure but I would write poems occasionally and I thought from time to time…something was there. It was my prayer as a trans man of faith to make sure that whatever I was doing that I had God’s stamp of approval so, I was waiting and watching for God to point me in the right direction.
I heard a pastor say, “you must celebrate that thing you want for yourself when you see that same thing in others.” I was up one night in bed with my books surrounding me. I had since discovered that with smart tv’s you could get a lot of entertainment on Netflix and Youtube so cable wasn’t as much of a necessity as it felt like when it gets shut off-as we say, just keepin it real…so this particular evening, I checked Facebook and I see that a friend of mine is announcing the publishing of his book that he and I had talked about. My heart was instantly glad for him because he had mentioned struggling with its’ completion. I then turned my attention to the TV listening to another preacher’s message. He calls out the text to his sermon, “Hebrews 10″…I said to myself, here we go again and of course, he repeats it saying, “Hebrews 10:22!! ” It dawned on me…it all started coming together. I could recall some months back feeling like the message had something to do with me personally..duh…it was my birthday that I kept seeing pop up everywhere. I was looking for some indication from God what was next, what talent had he given me that I could further the kingdom and prosper from at the same time. Then my friend writing his book came back to mind along with the fact of how my last birthday was so monumental. It hit me…I was supposed to write a book about 10-22, my last birthday and what advocacy looked like at 50. Wow…what a relief. I know my calling, I know the direction of my predestined foot steps from God and it was confirmed with the scripture, Hebrews 10-22 for so many reasons. Look out for my book, 10-22 Trans advocacy at 50..Walking the Walk.