YWAM Pt. 3

This portion of the Ywam story is a blur but the parts I do remember still fuck with my head.

This time I am done with both my Discipleship Training School (DTS) and School of Evangelism (SOE), I am full time on staff. My soon to be wife and I are engaged and she is doing her SOE while I work full time on Grounds Maintenance helping to take care of 500+ acres of grass and trees. I am enjoying it to an extent because I believed wholeheartedly I was doing “gods work” and even though I was suffering mild dehydration daily I kept going with the mindset that this was all for Gods glory.

One big catastrophe I remember was sitting in the prayer chapel (of course there was one) and my fiance and I were making out. You know the normal human attraction between each other that the evangelical church does not get? Well as it turns out one of the school leaders daughters saw us and told her dad. That turned into him coming down finding us and having the conversation I’ll never forget.

School leader: “Hey guys whats up?”

Us: “Nothing just hanging out till curfew whats up with you?”

School leader: “Well, my daughter just saw you two making out and that is not allowed on campus at all. It gives off the appearance of evil to the other students and sheds bad light.”


Us: “What do you mean?”

School leader: “You can’t make out on the property because in scripture it states you must wait till marriage and the possibility for other students to see you making out will give them ideas and it will turn into a bad situation for the campus.”

Us: (Ashamed looks on our faces)

School leader: “Don’t do it again, please, yall got to wait till you have your own place.”

Us: “Ok, sorry we won’t do it again.”

We all then left and my fiance and I didn’t talk the whole way back we were just full of shame and dread. It was awful as our times of working on grounds and going to classes continued we just held hands. We didn’t want to get that talk again. After her lecture phase, she went to Isreal which left me feeling alone for 2 months. Continuing to go to work but feeling alone and angry. We would talk here and there but I just couldn’t handle it. I went to my hometown in the middle and while I was there I would feed into my TRUE SELf as the woman I am and I would feel more shame because I was engaged. I got engaged to heal myself so why the hell was I still feeling the way I was feeling? It’s because I have always been a woman I just had to hide it.

Well, as it turns out we were also keeping journals while she was away which helped me process what had been going on. Not only on the campus but also past experiences I had. I remember writing to let her know that I was a cross-dresser before YWAM and had a goal to go get surgery right before I left for YWAM. I was vague and tried to not point out the fact I knew I was transgender because I wanted to hide that till I died. Fear of a scolding like my mom gave me when I was 8 was still very much in the back of my mind and I could not deal with that again. After I vaguely told her a few things we both agreed that I should go get it “prayed out” by one of the leaders. I was ready and wanted to be healed so I took all of this to my Pastoral Care Leader and let him know about as vaguely as I told my Fiance. He looked at me like I was a freak and asked why I didn’t bring this up at plumbline then proceeded to tell me we were going to have to have a full on prayer meeting with oils and shit. That prayer meeting never happened and I was forgotten about.

Time went on she was back now and we were working our jobs on the ranch living the missionary life and planning the wedding. The wedding happened and right after we got married we went on an 8000-mile road trip to raise support. It was INSANE! We didn’t come back with more support just a pile of bills and a baby on the way. Shortly after we found out we were going to have a baby she miscarried and both of us where crushed. Full of dread and anger and sadness. It was rougher for her since it was her body went through the physical pain. But, it was hard for me too. My leaders didn’t get that they would tell me I had no right to feel pain because my body didn’t go through the physical process. I was just supposed to act like I was ok and be strong. Being a presenting male I’m not allowed to “feel” anything. That built up more anger and it was just another brick for my wall.

I made a rash decision after the baby to do another school, the “School of Worship” (SOW.) I got yelled at by my work leader because he felt that was an awful idea and I just needed to work to keep my mind off the pain. I did the school and it made the pain worse. The only good part about that school was the other classmates that would help me process things. I never should have done that school instead we should have just left YWAM altogether because of the insane abuse we were under. But we stuck it out for the next 6 years following and that is where Pt. 4 is going to come in…

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My name is Sasha Adele Braden, a transgender woman, who is queer and living in freedom. I knew I was transgender at the age of five because my development just seemed off so I had an inclination something was very wrong. I was locked away because of shame and I decided that I was going to take my truth to the grave and never open up to anyone because I was full of fear. That all changed February 14, 2018, when it all came out. I’m free. I’m alive. I’m learning that life isn’t just eating, sleeping, having sex, and going to the bathroom but it is so much more! Learning that has been a blast! I am also co-managing a grassroots organization called, “REFLECT” and it is all about trans and nonbinary expression through community while being able to completely lean on allies. I am super stoked to be doing this and being a safe place for the queer community of Austin, TX. Look up my Facebook page “REFLECT” for more details. With all of that said, welcome to my life. I welcome all types of people and welcome all types of dialogue. So, drop a comment or two on a post every once In a while​ this blog is mainly just a way to let go of trauma from my past. Expressing it has helped me overcome things I thought I was never going to be able to overcome and I’m living in freedom for the first time in my life.

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