Swimming Toward Myself - Rev. K.C. Van Atta-Casebier

August 30, 2021

Life, for each human being, is an ongoing discovery of identity — of who we are, of who we have become. In this reflection, our Director of Family Ministries Pastor K.C. shares some of their recent discoveries.

For the last month, I have been swimming laps each morning to treat my body well. Those thirty minutes embraced by water have become a powerful reminder of God’s inescapable love.

Treating my body well is a new thing for me and a welcome change, catalyzed by a ball of conflicting emotions: pain, fear, courage, and hope. Pain comes in the form of anxiety, depression, and insomnia, only sometimes addressed by the tools (medication, therapy etc.) in my mental health toolbox.

Often when we experience pain, it is coupled with fear. Listening to ourselves can brew powerful fear. What if we’re wrong? What if what we’re realizing means we’re not good? What if we’re not strong enough?

But because I have now learned to trust the created goodness inside me (yes, even when I question it) listening to myself, and to those who know me well, can also instill great courage. That’s what happened here.

“Can you make one thing easier?” my therapist had recently asked. This question gave me the courage to take the next step in coming to terms with my identity. Like many of us on the brink of a big leap, I felt both brave and terrified.

Then, for the first time, I said the words, “I identify as a non-binary human.”

After I said them, I felt at home in myself. The homing device in my brain was blinking: something very important had clicked into place.

I feel hope – the hope that if us queer folk who are safe and privileged can give ourselves and others the gift of the freedom to be who we authentically are, it just might create more space for every one of us to live into the fullness of our created wholeness.

And those thirty minutes in the water each morning now seem an invitation to understand my baptized identity more deeply as a non-binary child of God.

I can’t speak for all non-binary persons or provide a perfect definition of non-binary identity. I can’t share more than I’m fully ready to, but I can show up and live as authentically as I know how, asking for and spreading grace as widely as I can. I’m grateful to be supported, encouraged, and loved on this journey with you.