Though none go with me, still I will follow

Dear Constance…I have a heavy heart today, and my eyes are red and throbbing from weeping.

The second wave of “loving wounds from friends” is occurring. I got a letter in the mail from a man I spoke with several weeks ago, one whom I have known for years and had thought was open and interested in my fate.

Well, the letter showed that while he thinks of himself as a friend (and make no mistake, he truly thinks he is “doing the right thing”), he does not believe that I am of my right mind and walking properly with the Lord. He makes this clear.

And I am so conflicted! Because on the one hand I know that it is not man who grants righteousness or will be able to ultimately label me, but God who has given me righteousness as a free gift and my beloved Advocate the Holy Spirit (whom I adore and love to call Mama…a poetic, intimate and informal expression of heart connection that is underlaid by foundational theological teaching and underpinnings)…and yet on the other hand to be told by someone that I have known for over 35 years, lived with for a few of those, and then worked with for our entire working career, someone who has not been intimately involved in my life for the last 25, has rarely come to the house, did not check in when Dad died, failed to notice my rampant and extreme despair, to be told that I am under a spirit of deception and not rightly choosing for life…

…well it is shattering in a lot of ways.

I am going to post the letter here with my reply…and my comments to you all here, not anywhere else  (My comments are indented and in blue).   I am deeply convicted that Mama does not want me to argue about this with people. If they are open to learning what being transgender is and is not, then I will spend whatever time it takes…but if they want to “a priori” judge me as wrong and in sin simply for choosing transition, then it is pointless to argue, for the evidences that I have biblically and scientifically and philosophically are moot to them! They have already made up their minds based on feelings, cultural traditions, and a few verses wrenched from context to bolster their weak arguments.

I think what breaks me most…shakes me most…is the awareness that this same process is going to keep happening. And it is painful.

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I could take the easy road…simply post “No Trespassing” and let them talk…but then again, how does that potentially educate? How does that maintain openness to relationship on my part? How does that lend any legitimacy to gender transition as a Christian?

I think that I am called to a higher purpose than just transition, and “fixing myself”…I think that I am called to speak for those who cannot speak, to run for those who cannot walk, and to stand for those who would shatter in the wind. So many individuals who are trans are so very broken, outcast, alienated…and I…true child of blessing and privilege even though I suffered as trans…I am relatively whole, and gifted with writing skills and speaking abilities.

No…I do think Mama has a different road for me, a road that will end up on the mountain top, but only via the lowly and lonesome valleys of the shadow of death. I hear Her singing to me “You gotta walk that lonesome valley…”

As you read below, I am going to add in comments of things I would have said, could have said but chose not to. Perhaps this intimate look into the life of a transgender Christian woman who is in the trench warfare that only Christians seem to be able to wage with such exquisitely kind cruelty will illuminate to you ways in which you may have failed to truly love your neighbor…or barring that will inspire you to simply “not go there”…to the correcting stool…at least not until you have walked side by side with someone for at least a hundred hours for every minute you plan to correct.

Interesting how Jesus spent very little time correcting anyone…oh wait! Except for the religious leaders and power mongers who corrected everyone else and were the final arbiters of who was holy and who was not!

I am still Charissa Grace. I am still seeking to do justice, and now in particular I am with all my being hungry to love mercy…but I am so sorrowful, how do I know if I am walking humbly? Well…Mama knows, She knows…so Ima stay close to Her always.

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*****Handwritten letter to me dated October 4th, 2014*****

I want to write this to you in order to respond to our conversation that we had on your front porch on Sunday afternoon three weeks ago. My thoughts have taken awhile to distill within me but I believe that they have settled into an understandable form.

My heart is heavy as I write this and just as it has been since I was made aware of your public display of being transgender on a Monday morning as I was (Charissa comments:  insert work activity here). From that shock I have been praying and have arrived at these few points that I hope you will be able to receive not as arrows of judgement or religious diatribe but as my response and call to Truth.

Interesting to see here that the very first things he communicates to me put the onus on me to “receive”…rather than the onus on him to speak edifying and encouragingly. He has done no study since we talked, asked no questions, or really even interacted with me at all.

An arrow of judgment is when we infer a heart condition based on an outward manifestation of behavior. You have judged someone when you think you know who they are based on what you have seen them do, or fail to do, with no other evidence. Jesus called it taking a speck out of someone’s eye when the speck remover’s eyes were full of logs.

A religious diatribe is when a deeply held belief is held over or against someone who is seen as violating that belief or invalidating that belief, and the said diatribe will not have any authoritative teaching accompanying it…it will simply be an emotionally laden coercion moment. Sometimes religious diatribes will be accompanied by some form of authority, but nearly every time they will be things taken out of context or twisted to serve the purpose of the one making it.

The goal of both of these forms of interaction is to control another person.

For me personally, you have crossed over a river which I will not be crossing.

This comment was confusing to me…is he telling me that he will not be transitioning beside me? Um, duh? Who would want to transition if they were fully themself? Or, is he telling me that we will no longer be friends, associates? And also, why will he not cross? Because he is happy as the gender he is? (again, duh)…or because I am in sin and he does not want to be sullied? Which is antithetical to the example that we have in Jesus by the way, who came in the flesh when we were yet dead in our sins and active enemies of God.

And now I am aware that you made that decision some time ago and I was not aware of it. And I have not ever been aware of your struggle with gender. My shock and surprise indicates a weakness of relationship and lack of transparency and openness that I assumed had existed in the past and present between us. Neither of us am I blaming for the weakness but I am sharing a feeling of loss because of the way I ended up finding out about your life change.

I simply must explain here…this man has not been a true part of my life on any consistent basis that would earn him any authority to speak like this to me. He was not there when my dad suffered…he was not there when my children went thru various trials…he was not there when I wanted to kill myself…he didn’t hear me when at work I tried to talk to him about the despair that overwhelmed me…

…and of course, he was not there when I at last admitted what I am. Because how could I dare talking to anyone about it? Seriously…look at the response he is having. Tell me how that makes him a safe place to pour out my heart and make my very core vulnerable at the most defenseless time of my life?

Weakness of relationship…lack of transparency and openness…assumed existed in the past and currently present.

Hmmm…first off, notice the assumption there, that everyone be all up in everyone else’s business. Somehow either he or I owed the other one this “transparency” simply because we had history and were both Christians. There is a devious and poison doctrine that got loose in the church in the 70s, and it assumes a heavy authoritarian leader to whom all others are “submitted to” and demands an accountability to that leader, or group of leaders. This was most clearly seen in the Shepherding Movement and in the teachings of a man named Bob Mumford among other men. As time passed, it was repudiated but managed to metastasize and mutate and the authority figure became something seemingly more benign called various things like “accountability partner” or other similar names.

While there is definite wisdom and benefit in having someone close that you trust who is there for you and who knows all about you, this practice usually devolves into various forms of bondage and control in its best forms and flat out spiritual abuse in its worst. Deep study of New Testament behavioral codes place about 99.9999% of the emphasis on removing specks from ones’ own eyes, and looking for ways to defer to others with them being more important than one’s self.

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If you had shared your struggle and the reality of what you were dealing with in your heart with me or someone, perhaps things would be different. I am hoping that I would have cared enough to pray and help carry that burden to the Lord.

As I made clear when we talked, during the time he knew me most, I had no conscious idea that the source of my despair was gender dysphoria…and yes, as a victim of that Christian culture during those years, I had “accountability partners” who knew that I wrestled fiercely with depression and despair, and they had affirmed the nobility of this struggle.

I also had one friend in particular that I was open about gender feelings with, though we did not know at the time what the dealio was.

He ignores the presence of my amazing spouse and her complete sharing of my horror, her encouragement…and then he says he is currently hoping he would have cared enough to pray and help carry that burden to the Lord…WHAAAAAaaaa???????????

Did I read that right? Let me see if I am tracking: so far I have been warned that there are arrows coming and words that may be resembling religious diatribe…I have been told that I am across a river that he will not be crossing…he has implied that I have been secretive and dissembling over the years and has flat out stated that I had not shared my struggle…

…and then turns around to say that he is currently hoping that he would have cared enough…

Here is an idea: how about caring enough now, enough to be around me and see for himself that I am still the very same person I always was but more whole and healthy? How about getting over the fear that I am perishing, and getting over himself that he is somehow the knight riding in on the charger to save the day, and simply coming along side me as a friend with no agenda but to love me?

I have a few things to ask you to consider and to see my understanding of things.

OOoohh…his understanding…okay, I thought, here is where I will see some information, indication that he studied a bit on this…alas I was sadly disappointed. His understanding is just that: what he thinks in himself, and for reasons either explained poorly, weakly, or not at all.

First I am concerned that you have made these life changing decisions without any submitted relationship and dialogue with the people in the Body of Christ closest to you and who have known you. Any one of us becomes vulnerable without being in submitted relationships that are mutually held in open and honest accountable communication. Is there anyone you trust that could say “(Charissa comments:  he used my deathname here) don’t go this way your (sic) making a mistake” and you would wait and not keep going? Left to ourselves we are alone.

Where do I start on that? See, the term “submitted relationship”…that is code, and means that anytime you want to do something you have to run it by other people, especially if it is something unusual. It is not enough to be submitted to God, and daily seeking Them, daily being in the word looking for guidance…it is not enough to be submitted to one’s spouse, and together daily seeking God in prayer together. No…there is a different dynamic, one in which someone else…a human being(s)…serves as an intermediary between you and God.

Hear me…there is nothing inherently wrong with doing just that…but neither is there anything inherently wrong in not doing that. A Christian who considers God’s word authoritative would search scripture for any broad stroke parameters that would include or preclude the considered direction, and if it was not prohibited would then pray and ask for guidance and insight regarding a looming decision. They would also consult with the people any such decision would directly affect, so as to defer to them humbly and understand the impact a chosen course may have on them. Then they would consider any science, technology, teachings etc that would further illuminate the possible outcomes of a choice…special attention would be given to any testimony of people who had experienced similar things.

Ideally, if one wanted to, they would share this with the people who are rooted and woven into their hearts and souls, just out of friendship. There is wisdom in counsel, and counsel from those who truly know you is priceless.

If the considered action was clearly prohibited by scripture, the counselours would be sure to point that out…but if it wasn’t…if it was a matter of choice…free will…then the preferred course of action might or might not be received, and it might or might not end up profitable…but it would not a priori be a matter of sin or rebellion or deception!!

It would simply be a choice, one if made foolishly would result in a bad end, but a bad end not due to inherent sinful action simply because it was different than the “submitted relationship” people want.

In my own case, by the time I actually confronted my being transgender, I had also pretty much divested myself of all controlling relationships and was seeking to draw close to God everyday. In fact, as depression tore at me, and dysphoria grew worse, there was not really anyone I trusted who would not immediately say I was under demonic attack or try to “buck me up”. It was insulting and hurtful that they would think that I had not already recited every encouraging verse in the bible…I know them all, literally…it was painful that they would think me vulnerable to demonic influence given that I was daily interacting with God and crying out desperately for help.

Besides, I do think there are quite a few theological issues involved with another modern doctrine that I find specious (the notion that a believer can be demonized after they have been united with the Spirit of God) a doctrine built on a few instances from the days of Jesus in the flesh.  New Testament teaching regarding who controls one’s body, and who lives in that body when relationship with God is sought is full and pretty directive so as to infer that wrongs and sins would be the responsibility of an individual free will choice to deviate from clearly stated scriptural exhortations which are properly understood contextually and culturally.

I was deeply saddened when I read his rhetoric, that were I to confide my journey in someone trusted their immediate response would be to warn me of error and then I would be bound to cease and desist. It revealed that he considers transition to be wrong and a mistake and sinful in and  of itself…but without any biblical edict whatsoever, no scriptural authority at all, and absolutely zero examination of the science side of things to see if my decision is sound medically and practically.

Tragically, such an attitude does indeed preclude him as a potential consultant for life matters, for in taking the next steps after examining God’s word, I discovered that there are a plethora of wise reasons to embrace transition…and in light of no forbidding authoritative bible teaching, and nothing checking me in daily prayer, and nothing checking my spouse, and the presence of positive affirmation of this course via wholeness and health and a more robust and joyful life experience, transition seems to me to very much be an answer to prayer.

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There are three things that are alarm bells to me that I have been considering since our conversation that day.

One is the feminizing of the Holy Spirit. As we talked you referenced the Holy Spirit as “She” and “Her”. And you mentioned that you were now most often talking with Her (the Holy Spirit) and not the Father or the Lord Jesus. I do not see this sexual gender in the persons of the Godhead. Feminine attributes yes but not the exclusivity of specific sexual gender. I believe even our personal dialogue with God should be in accord with God’s word about Himself in scripture.

Okay…stop right there. First off, I did make it clear to him that I use those words for the Holy Spirit as part of my own personal relationship with the Holy Spirit…but I want to make a stronger point:

There is an assumed perverting of who God is by “feminizing” the Holy Spirit! Do you see that? As if calling the Holy Spirit the feminine expression of the Godhead to us somehow dirties God, and that only masculine descriptions are legitimate descriptions of God! What if over the years we have lost touch with the overall richness of the expression of God, and that restoring feminine pronouns to talking about God is needed and in order? I won’t bore you with the specifics, but just for example, one of God’s best names in the Old Testament is “El Shaddai” which means among other things “many breasted God”.

Really?? So we are to imagine a masculine god with many breasts? Or are we directed to instead consider a nursing mother dog, who has multiple food sources for multiple puppies, and the message is that God will nurture you and care for you like a mama dog her puppies! What is so bad about God having feminine attributes? And talking to God using feminine names? Is God that small and small hearted that God would shut His ears to avoid being besmirched?

I see arguments regularly which assure us that God is beyond and/or above gender…and thus saying “She” is inappropriate…

but the fact remains that “He” is still considered “appropriate” and correct!!!  What a freaking contradiction!!  If God is “beyond gender”, then logic tells us that either ANY pronoun is inappropriate, OR that God is big enough to not be offended by ANY pronoun one uses.

Frankly, I find anyone getting offended at the use of She for God is simply manifesting the internalized misogyny bequeathed them by the evils of the patriarchal paradigm that has imprisoned us all.

Also, notice how he characterizes gender as “sexual gender”…and that is one of the huge issues is that people reflexively associate sexuality and gender.  It was telling to me that he did not have the wherewithal to simply say “gender”.

Here is the kicker: God made humans in Their Image: male and female, which means that God is possessing qualities that we see revealed in male and female humans (and countless other ones I am certain)…but we are only permitted to use the male ones to talk about or to God, or God will get offended and smite us? Or somehow if I talk with the Holy Spirit and use “Mama” and “Her” as I do, then I will be ignored and even worse turned over to evil spirits and deceived? That simply doesn’t make any sense at all, either logically or theologically…and it certainly assumes a very mean view of the Nature of God.

“God’s word about Himself in Scripture…”

I dare you to make a study of divine gender terms in the old testament…

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Secondly I cannot agree with what you are doing with the body God gave you. I know you know 1 Corinthians 6 well but it does make clear that our bodies are not our own to do with as we please. They are made for God and belong to Him. Making such severe changes as you feel compelled to do and are doing certainly muddies the waters if not plain challenging the Lordship of Christ and His ownership of you.

*Charissa face-palms here*  Constance, you can explore that chapter for your ownself. Volumes are written that explain proper exegesis of it…in a nutshell, it is addressing visiting harlots for sexual contact, and even more specifically as a carry over from the kind of religious practice of that day which involved sympathetic magic, and sex in temples with priests and priestesses as acts of worship of the gods of the various cultures who required such activity.

The apostle is teaching that you belong to a collective spiritual entity called the Body of Christ if you are a Christian, and as such you are not to unite yourself with anyone or anything that would lay claim to that allegiance.

It also easily generalizes over to sexual conduct and the use of the body…but to say that these verses prohibit anything specifically other than sexual acts deemed to be illicit and out of bounds is ludicrous!

Can you see how one could use this verse by itself as an arrow to seek to enforce control of anyone for doing or being anything? It could apply to those who seek to keep others from piercing, or getting tattoos, it could apply to those who seek to enforce eating rules, or activities deemed harmful to the body such as professional football, it could be used to prohibit someone from getting surgery on a cleft palate, or on a leaky heart valve, or the removal of cancer-ridden breasts, and it goes on and on and on…(as an aside, I do indeed view my unwanted and wrong genitalia as a sort of “cancer to my soul, to my heart”).

No, Constance…we can be guided by what is specifically addressed, whether to do or to not do…and then we are in the wonderful arena of maturing in relationship, sharpening our ears, and growing in wisdom as we walk, doing our best to be kind, listen to Mama (Holy Spirit…just listen!), and apply the wisdom we have gleaned. At the end of the day, the one and only measure of the success of that is how much our heart looks like Jesus at the end of the quest.tumblr_ncjrcmD9gI1qczwklo1_1280

The third alarm for me is your decision to change your own name. This is very troubling to me and I am feeling strongly that this will be a point of departure from which any return will be most difficult. The authority to name belongs to God and our parents not to ourselves. To rename yourself seems to me to be a very serious thing to consider doing.

*Double face palm* First of all, I do believe that I was directed by the Holy Spirit to take this step, both in the name I settled on and the process of doing it.

Having said that, I would again encourage you to read every instance of a name change, and you will see that my friend has revealed his own belief and preference, but has not given any evidence to back that up. I would give my evidence, but I am sure I would bore you more than I have already!

The last thing I have to share is one I know personally very well. It is that it is definitely possible to be displaying the “fruits of the Spirit” and yet at the same time be deceived and strongly influenced by a spirit of the enemy. This was me and my life for quite a few years.

Classic double bind here. My only defense is that the fruits of the Spirit are in my life and growingly so…and Jesus said that we would know them by their fruits…I deny that I am deceived. The fruits of deception are not there. There is no teaching that I would be distorting or seeking a way around regarding transition! This is just an agenda driven double bind, and leaves me no way to “prove” I am not deceived.

I lead (sic) worship, was kind gentle, loving, patient, and joyful in varying degrees. Yet I was being deceived and influenced by a spirit that held me addicted and subject to pornography and the selfishness of sexual sin. It was not until the day I repented and confessed with as complete a transparency as I knew that Jesus delivered me through His Spirit. That spirit left and never returned. But in retrospect, I was deceived even while displaying some good spiritual fruit.

Ok, Constance…I was privy to this time. I can tell you that there is a very different take on these events, but in the interest of confidentiality, I am remaining silent on that.

I do want to point out an obvious issue, though: Sexual sin, sexual immorality, and pornography by extension are all things that are directly addressed with biblical teaching. As such, it would not be up to any one individual to decide for themselves what was right and what was not if they wanted to remain true to the core of what being a Christian is…

This is a huge difference between what and how the bible speaks in these areas, and what and how the bible is silent in transgender areas in general and transition issues in specific.

I can also assure you, that if one is capable of reading the bible, practicing the things being practiced, and having a “clear conscience”, that this is far more a signal of a so called spirit of deception.

I tend to view it far more practically…anything we feel bad about that we keep doing will eventually de-sensitize us to its harmful impact. It is not so much a spirit, as it is a habit of our heart and thus a tremendous bondage that we soon are in thrall to.  In this case, there was never a pretense that such activity was okay or sanctioned. There was no open display of this unashamedly, such as when I dress as myself freely and without sin, but rather it was hidden behavior, with great planning and scheming and sneaking around at work to keep it hidden and thus available for indulgence.   There was no knowledge by other people who had a stake in the relational implications…

In short, there was nothingcwhatsoever in common with his situation and my situation.  I find no scriptural prohibition or direction, on either gender change or transition. I have been open completely with my spouse, from the first day of our marriage til now, and she has been fully in the know and walking united with me in love. We have studied out every bit of information we can find for over 18 months. I have a fabulous therapist, to pursue all avenues. I have not “consulted” people from my past…frankly what happened this time was exactly what I thought would happen if I tried to.

At every turn, doors opened…this was after we started asking for doors to either open or shut as a partial way to receive guidance

Classic double bind again, right?  tumblr_n0uodj4yHY1sids82o1_500

Now I am praying for you.

(Now? NOW??? How does one take this?)

I would love to see you take time to get a second opinion.

What he is referring to is the counseling approach called reparative therapy. Basically this is a belief that all issues we have are due to experiential wounds we have endured. The assumption here is that I am transgender due to things that happened to me after I was born, and if I got healed of those wounds, my issues would resolve and disappear.

As a former counselour, uncertified but very active and informed and pretty good one, I can assure you that all the techniques there are to be healed of past wounds I have embraced…inner healing, deliverance, inviting the presence of the Holy Spirit to heal…what ever you have, I have tried it…and while there has been wonderful healing from wounds, and true growth and health, my dysphoria was never addressed, and since I had no idea there was such a thing as dysphoria, I was left feeling abandoned and condemned, not good enough.

The general literature regarding the reparative therapy approach is mixed at best and fruitless at worse. It has no great success rate, any more so than any therapeutic approach.

What does have a solid track record is transition. The results of transition are measurable improvements in mental health, quality of life, and general well being. If you wish, do a google search and discover on your won.

I am sure your counselor is caring and inciteful (sic) but without the presence of the Holy Spirit in prayer even she is unable to bring the depth of healing that is needed. Relief possibly but probably not wholeness.

Again…notice the assumption? That healing is what is needed (does a cleft palate need “healing”, or surgery?), that I am broken and not whole, and if I was whole I would not be transgender.

I don’t accept this. I say that as I get the hormones my brain and mind need I am growing into wholeness like any other woman. Any one of you, Constance, if you began to have your body flooded with hormones that contradicted your own internal sense of gender and self, why you would find yourself dysphoric. It is that simple!

And the clear inference that I am seeking relief…oh Constance, while I am so blessedly becoming right, there is no sense of relief when people that have known me for over 35 years begin to speak this way to me. And the prospect of more looms…

Lastly, the assumption that my counselor isn’t a christian and that the Holy Spirit is not big enough to use any means and/or tool to accomplish the will of God…tumblr_nau64oDG9d1t3jjjyo1_500

Your childhood stories are hurtful and I know the wounds are real. I just can’t see the path you are choosing as leading to real true restoration for these woundings. There is a dissonance that is unavoidable and hard to make peace with in this gender switch.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I want to restate that “real true restoration” is good, necessary to every human being, and unless accompanied by the proper sex hormones needed for that person is powerless to address gender dysphoria.

Evidence? Buehler? Buehler? Dissonance with what? Unavoidable where?

Get this: I AM NOT MAKING A GENDER SWITCH!!!!!!!

I am embracing the miracle of modern technology that allows my body to grow into my already innate sense of who I am, what I am…Charissa, a woman, and lover of God and people.

You have in so many ways been a faithful and generous friend. There is a scripture stating “faithful are the wounds of a friend”.

I could enumerate them, the ways that I have been a faithful and generous friend…I won’t. Rather, I want to take a look at how in the midst of all the verses about friendship he chose to talk about that one which discusses wounding. I agree with the verse…the wounds of a friend are faithful…but now we must establish what a friend is, does, looks like, acts like, etc.  Sadly, it is my far more common experience to be a good friend to others than have them be a good friend to me…that is changing, thanks DDH!!!

If my writing has caused any more “wounding” please forgive me and know I am speaking from a heart that loves you and truth too much to remain silent.

You will take note of his assertion that he loves me and loves truth too much to remain silent…so let’s look at a few things there…first of all truth. What truth has he shown that he loves that I am not also loving? What truth has he laid out there as true truth that is authoritative and I am bound as a professing Christian to embrace? I contend he has not done this.

Thus, the truth he loves is his own truth. And wowsa do we all love our own truth, yes?

Next, I want to mention that he says that he cannot remain silent because of loving truth too much to do so. Quite simply this is an inversion of New Testament behavior in situations where there is no authoritative guide from scripture to give specific help…in those causes we are exhorted to put our sister, our brother and their own needs and wants over our own. Philippians 2 speaks well about this, and many other places do too…it is the habit of “Preferring others over ourselves”

Lastly, he claims he loves me too much to be silent. I am not rhetorical here. Where is the love again? Where has it been? What does it look like? Since we spoke last, where is the evidence of such deep love? And what will be the path going forward?

In faith.

Always your friend,

XXXX

Wow…just wow. So now comes my response. I kept it short and sweet. You will notice that I did not include a word of what I have written to you, as I truly think it would be fighting a tar baby. His mind is made up, and his heart is closed up…

…but I have written to you, Constance, because you just might read this, and get it in a new way, and be kind to someone and save their life…you just might be that cup of cold water to that one person who needs it or dies. And you just might find that I am speaking truth regarding the absolute certainty that God loves transgender people and is far more interested in their heart and character than They are their gender!

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Dear XXXX…

Thank you for taking the time to write your letter. I appreciated how you characterized my “public display of being transgender”…that statement is accurate in each respect: display, and being.

Please know I receive your intention and desire for my best. Your arguments are very familiar to me, things I have asked myself and worked through until I was at peace in a biblical sense. I spent sleepless nights in thought and prayer. I counted the cost of gender transition, such as I understood it to be. I am capable of engaging on these matters with eloquence in depth, detail and evidence.

However, I disagree with your conclusions, and I think the most fruitful option is to refrain from defending myself in a debate that is not likely to touch the heart. I do not think there is anything I can say that would cause you to feel better or rest easy in knowing that I am still okay with God and God okay with me.

I choose to be silent because I believe this best sets the stage for the possibility of continued whole relationship. I have found the courage and the grace to simply stand in the face of charges and accusations. Those things say more about the ones who make them than they do about me…as time passes, God will be shown true.

I know my hope lies in a life exonerated in choosing eternal transition from works to Grace and death to Life…my gender transition is very much a subset of that. I walk unashamed and covered in the precious blood of Jesus which is my birthright as God’s offspring…for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until That Day.

I want to state for the record that I am submitted to God, to Jane, and to trusted friends. To the very best of my knowledge I am not in rebellion and I utterly reject the assertion from both you and George that I am under a spirit of deception. I stand with a clean heart and conscience before God and man, and daily welcome the Holy Spirit in all of the Holy Spirit’s Divine Wisdom, counsel, conviction, and comfort.

I do want to say I am sorry to you for being so informal, poetic and intimate regarding what you called the feminizing of the Holy Spirit. This verbiage is to me in my heart and soul a prayer and relational “shortcut”. I was open with you that way in the spirit of our history together. I assumed you would recall my being a student of the word, committed to fidelity, one who has sought to be a workman approved…in these areas of my life, along with the bedrock areas of Christian Faith and Dogma, nothing has changed!

Our conversation was about the issues of being, gender and me, not about the nature of God, the use of gender referencing God and what we should or should not call Them. It was sloppy of me to add the burden to your heart of unnecessarily using feminine pronouns for the Holy Spirit and unwittingly placing a stumbling block before you. Please forgive me that unwise conflating of 2 things, either of which would be “an issue” by itself.

I will close by saying thank you for your letter, and that I will always do my best to be myself with you, open hearted and grateful to know you. It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will manifest the will of the Father for us and bear the fruit in us and through us commensurate with that Life.

Remaining silent in Hope, refraining from speech on most of these things in Faith, and deferring to the Holy Spirit in all of them in Love…especially Love…

Charissa Grace White

*********************

If you are still here after all this, you are diehard indeed!! Thank you for reading.

Charissa Grace, who is heavy hearted, mourning, and still not ashamed of myself, of the Gospel, or of God in whom I put my Hope.

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UPDATE:  2 years later…this individual has not had any contact with me whatsoever…has not spoken one word to me.

This man who claimed to be a friend, and a follower of Jesus, whose professed life mission is to seek and save “the lost” has not even seen me since then or in any way, shape, or form even sought me out.

This says less about him as a person and MORE about the horrible lies and bondages he lives under inside his evangelical ghetto.

It has been painful escaping…I rejoice for the pain…and the gain.

 

4 thoughts on “Though none go with me, still I will follow

  1. Oh dear! There’s so much I want to say! Why he felt he had to subject you to a letter that only speaks to his ignorance and possible fear of the unknown is beyond me and to say it all in the name of God? Really? I think you handled this the only way you could and it is the right way. You did not ask for any of this. I’m sorry. This makes me mad.

    • In a way I think more of this will happen BECAUSE I do write, and can express myself, what is wrong with something and why it is, and what ought to be in its place.

      Thanks for your heart Kat…a year ago this would have destroyed me, but now is making me stronger.

      Thanks for being there… ❤

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