NOTHIN BUT GOD CHANGED ME!
The Story Behind The Brand
The name Nothin But God is more than a cool brand name, more than a phrase, it’s a testimony, it’s a lifestyle.
Nothin But God is my (Reneisha Pittman’s) personal testimony. I used to be gay, a stud, which means I identified as the masculine female in relationships and took on a masculine demeanor in my everyday life. Now the outward manifestation of this internal conflict didn’t come about until my freshman year of college, but gender confusion had plagued me ever since I could remember. One of my earliest memories is feeling dejected because I was told I would have to start wearing a shirt around the house. In defense of my mother and grandma, my tiny lady parts were beginning to come in. I recall standing there so confused as I watched my topless uncle walk by. The question ran through my tiny mind, why is it that I have to wear a shirt and he doesn’t? In other words, why is it that I have to be constrained but he… he gets to run free. A thick level of disillusionment set in that day. Being a female meant limitation and to be male meant boundless living. I’d like to state this early; Satan doesn’t discriminate when it comes to age, the earlier he can confuse a young mind the stronger his grip will be later in life… but God.
Over the years the roots of this idea only grew deeper as I found myself attracted to things that were meant “for boys”, such as video games, action figures and sports. I would much rather wear sweats before dresses and basketball shorts before capris, why were these even a thing anyways. Thus, I would hear people call me a “Tomboy”, sometimes whispered like a secret amongst the adults in the room and other times as a term of endearment by the guys on the football field which was just a patch of grass in someone’s yard. Either way the term served as a hand holding a knife as it patted me on the back. I believed those statements. It only confirmed the thoughts of a small child, I was trapped in this female figure that didn’t serve me.
Things began to take a considerable shift during late elementary and early middle school. Females… girls, they became attractive to me. I recall having butterflies when the pretty girls would talk to me and almost nothing whenever some little boy said, “will you be my girlfriend?”. Over the years leading into high school, I would have a boyfriend here and there, maybe even a small crush, but it never compared to my infatuation with women. So, walking the halls of High School were very awkward. Here I am dressed as a woman receiving cat calls here and there, all the while longing to not to have to bottle up everything I was feeling inside. Some classmates during my high school tenure would pull me to the side and ask after a long pause… “Are you gay?”. A question I would respond to with shear aggression, “NO! What? Girl if you don’t get out my face…”, now I was the one driving the knife into my own back. Every denial hurt more than the last, I was crawling deeper and deeper into a self-inflicted prison. I couldn’t be gay, why couldn’t I just be a “normal” girl, boy crazy and in love with every shade of pink. WHY! Why did I have to be different?
College… yeah college was… different. Freshman year begins and… freedom, well… “freedom” seems to be the most appropriate theme from here forth. No parents, no family members, and all new friends. I could finally be anyone I chose to be without any judgement healthy or not. As the first semester progressed unbeknownst to me a young woman whom we will call B had taken an interest in me. I assumed she was just being friendly and wanted to hang out regularly until a mutual friend pulled me to the side and asked that dreaded question yet again “… Are you gay?”, yet this time there was an undertone of excitement, curiosity and acceptance. So, when I responded in my usual way that friend responded by saying, “Chill, it’s good if you are and it’s good if you aren’t. But… you do know that B is gay right?... She likes you!”. This ran me over like a fully loaded Mack Truck. B was feminine in every way, yes, she wore a rainbow bracelet, but I just thought she liked colors. Over the months I grew closer to B, struggling against conflicting thoughts in my heart, “this is wrong!” but “this feels right!”. After long the thought, “this is wrong” began to be drowned out by the thoughts of “this feels right”, though never fully leaving. Right before Christmas break that year 2010, I decided it was now or never. I asked B to be my girlfriend. I went home a different woman inside the same shell.
My college years after that point would become a blur of females, anger, alcohol, Mary Jane, conflict and depression. Oh, how bitter “freedom” tasted. By the end of my freshman year, I was no longer with B. That relationship was short lived, but it gave me the courage to live as I saw fit. At the beginning of my sophomore year, I began to dress like a man, clothing never felt so comfortable and that shell began to reflect what I had been feeling on the inside. Also, there was someone new, a woman whom we will call A. She would be the main female presence in and out my life for roughly 4 years. During those 4 years I struggled. Loving and hating my own reflection along the way. I had become the person I had longed to be since I was told, “put on a shirt”, but that nagging thought of “this is wrong”, wouldn’t leave me alone. For reference the song Same Love would bring me to tears because of the statement, “I can’t change, even if I tried, even if I wanted too …” seemed to express the deepest portions of my heart. I couldn’t be straight because well men… but women so beautiful, full of wonder and yet I couldn’t get completely comfortable. How after all these years was I still unhappy and tearing myself apart from the inside out. I had finally found freedom, right?
Turns out I was just living in another prison, this one had different color bars. The latter portion of those 4 years were the most profound. Towards the end of my senior year (note I was in college for 5 years, some students call the 5thyear, the Super Senior Year.) I took a break from school, spring through summer. Over those months leading into the break, Christ began to invade my life. It was strange, I was seeing billboards that said things like “Jesus Loves You”, to which I would think, yeah he can’t love someone like me or people wearing Christian t-shirts with encouraging statements, something I deeply needed at the time, encouragement. Oh, I can’t forget the occasional, “have a blessed day!”, uttered to me by cashiers and random strangers. Another side note…. there is ministry in simply telling someone “Have a blessed day!”. Before long I began having the oddest desire to go to church, I hadn’t attended church regularly since I was little girl and for a random stint in high school. I responded to those desires by waking A up early on odd Sunday mornings and telling her, get dressed, were going to church. Unfortunately, whatever I was looking for, I didn’t find it, church at the time felt like another shell or prison of sorts, dress the part, sing the songs and clap when the pastor says, Amen.
During that spring and summer break I found myself alone. Out of rhythm with my classmates and roommates. This gave me plenty of time to think and reflect on my life, who had I become and was this the person I wanted to remain? Enters new ageism! Meditation, yoga poses and “sacred” chants, I was searching. Searching for peace, inner peace. If I could just visualize long enough all the negatives would dissipate and I would have inner peace. I’ll cut to the chase it didn’t work, in fact it only opened me up to deeper disillusionment or deception by Satan. For the record yoga isn’t evil nor is meditation, it’s the heart and intent behind the actions that determine the outcome. I was striving to become my own god without even realizing it, the captain of my own ship if you will. Yet, Christ was there, weeding through every false light.
By fall of 2015 I had returned to school. The days of the life as I had known it for the past 4 – 5 years were about to receive a rude or holy transformation. A coworker turned friend named Hannah invited me to attend a Sunday evening service with her at Lakewood Church. I’ll be honest with you, she had asked me to join her several times prior which I always rejected, but this Sunday she was begging, and I figured what the heck, I’m not going to do anything when I get home anyways. So I went, that night would be the tipped domino that would forever alter the trajectory of my life. I remember walking through the front doors of the church not really knowing what to expect but everyone was… happy… and friendly. Eventually we made it to the main sanctuary doors. As I walked in the room, I was met with an atmosphere I can only describe as a club without sin or alcohol lol, because truthfully, I had only seen such “joy” in the club or a drunken party. People were jumping up and down dancing and singing the lyrics to these songs that were obviously worshipping Christ. This completely shattered all that I had previous known or understood “church” to be up until this moment.
We located a few seats, middle back of the center section. I decided to join in on the worship as the lyrics rolled across the screen. Moments later I found myself one of the numbers of the people jumping up and down. Seconds after that my knees gave way to the weight of joy, peace, love, reassurance and freedom that had enveloped my heart, I collapse to my knees. While on the floor I cried out to God, to Jesus, asking him for forgiveness, asking him to help me, asking him to give me the life the people around me had. It’s safe to say that before worship was over, I was puddle and ready to surrender my life no matter the cost. Shortly after worship Pastor Nick Nelson took the stage. He was dressed in a tee skinny jeans! Yet again I was shocked. He began to deliver the word for the evening. He stated in so many ways that not one of us are so far that God can’t reach us, no matter what we had done God loved us and wanted a relationship with us. This only confirmed the “Jesus Loves You” sign as well as the flood of Holy emotions I just felt. Pastor Nick could barely get the alter call out of him mouth before I was shoving my friend out of the way to make it down to the front. I wasn’t walking, I was practically running.
Freedom… Freedom… Freedom is the only way I can describe the next few years (because it took time) of my life. In a nutshell the Lord loved me through and straight out of all the chains I had put on over the years. Funniest thing is Christ redeemed me and my sexuality followed, as in I didn’t want to have sex with anyone. Not just women, I wanted Christ and Christ alone. Plus, it wasn’t like men magically became attractive lol. Yet, one day during prayer I heard the inner voice of the Holy Spirit say, “You will be married one day.”. To which I respond, “nah Jesus, you and me are good…”. Well in all my desiring not to have a spouse (because it would have to be a man) I met my husband at no place other than Lakewood 2017. Our meeting is another testimony within itself, but I’ll keep it short and sweet by saying, Christ made it very evident, the presence of God was so rich within our encounter that I couldn’t deny the truth even if I wanted too.
Now as of 2022 while I’m writing this, I’ve been married to him for 4+ years, yes we got married quickly lol. Oh and I’m also carrying our first child. These are both testaments to the redeeming love of Christ. I would have never imagined that this would be my life. Also, for that gender confusion, Christ has washed that away as well. I now see the value in being a woman. Yes, I still have qualities that society calls “masculine” but that doesn’t make me any less of a woman. I still enjoy working with my hands and my color palette still isn’t considered to be traditionally feminine, nor is the way I dress. Christ didn’t make a mistake in the way he designed me, my strengths complement my Husbands weaknesses and vice versa. I have more to say about how we as a society contribute to gender disillusionment but that is best saved for a blog or video coming soon, shameless plug lol.
With the major components of the story in view I hope you can join me in saying, my life, my transformation and my journey has all been Nothin But God! I’m sure if you look over your own life… you may just be able to say the same thing. Maybe your story doesn’t reflect mine but don’t be mistaken our Father is always weaving in the fine details if we look closely we see his handy work.
May God bless you and keep you,