Transition is the most incredible, revealing, testing and purifying crucible I have ever been in. It has taken every single area and facet of my existence into its cruelly loving, True Arms. Spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. It is revealing who I am and always have been, it is consuming who I was not and never was, and it is catalyzing all that I was/am/will be in that growth process that goes on throughout life.The greatest gift it has given me, though, is the gift of being…and knowing that I am a co-author of this being, in ways that I previously had no arms and legs to embrace and carry. I also lacked a deeper awareness of just how little the leviathan gravity of the past chains me to itself, and how much that same past grounds me in my choice of who I am today, tomorrow, the next day, and the rest of my days…
I have received the gift of Purposive Grace. Let me explain.So in the last 6 months, it has been shown to me very clearly that my experience of the last 31 years is totally divergent from that of other people in my life during this time. Words have been spoken to me, around me, about me that were/are very destructive, vitriolic, hateful, angry, cold, sarcastic, condescending, judgmental, derisive, and crushing.
Words from people that I think the world of and have endeavored with all of my might to love, sacrifice for, serve, and encourage. I had thought that in spite of imperfectness, I had done a faithful job in this…
…I have discovered that their experience was utterly other and that I am perceived as the most abusive, controlling, hateful, distant and absent person in their experience. I have been named things that hurt so deeply that I just went numb for a few days and then finally the indescribable pain was actually a relief because I knew that I wasn’t dead.
In short, it seems that I have been a complete and utter failure in every way and everything that I had as my guiding vision for how to live, and that is that, game over…see you, wouldn’t wanna be you.
Add in the other experiences come my way since I chose authenticity over mere existence, those wonderful accusations of being demon possessed, in rebellion towards God, back-slidden, a sexual deviant, etc. etc. and you have the sum total of the majority viewpoint of who and what I was and am.But:
…my own experience of this time was very different than what I am hearing now, and it is in this disconnect that my sanity and my soul was truly tested and put into the fires of refinement.
I have asked myself: what is my mission in life, my own self-defined, self-desired one true and central throbbing purpose? Is that changed or different? The answer is no! I am still me, and I took the name Charissa Grace because of this vision/purpose/passion!!
Yielded vessel, yielding blessing.Since I was a young child, I have had a 3-fold prayer that I have never stopped praying, though I have many times had reason to regret it due to the pain and suffering that have followed it in the preparation for its reality.
1. I freely chose to give up my free will as my one and only true gift of love to God…it is the only thing that I have that is mine and mine alone that no one can control or take, including God…so I reasoned that it was the most valuable thing I had to give Them in order to show Them my love and gratefulness. That has been since I was about 9 years old or so…
…the choice to have no choice but belonging to Them.2. I asked Them to please let me be a real christian, and what that meant to me was that I wanted to live out the reality of being the most gracious and kind, most tender encouraging, gentle-hearted, faithful and patient person I could be. I wanted to truly live out loving my enemies, living a sacrificial life in joy (not that supercilious martyr-spirit sanctimony), being enthusiastic, being kind…always kind, and giving grace out as if it were as plentiful as the sands of the Sahara rather than so rare and precious as the most valuable pearls. I wanted to truly forgive everything and do so with the power to enable grace preeminent in a person’s life afterward.
“With the measure you use to measure out, so shall it be measured out to you.”
“You will be forgiven in the same manner that you yourself forgive.”
Those words haunted me then…and do so now as well. God knows how badly I screw up…everything.
*Sick, rueful chuckle*…God knows, and so do I, now…it seems that I have totally and completely utterly destroyed the lives of those whom I would die for without even a flinch…
…so you can see my deep awareness of the need to be forgiven, the utter necessity of grace for me…
…that is what my prayer to be a real christian meant/means.3. I asked if I could know a true death to self and alive-ness to God. I took Philippians 3:8-14 as my life verses, understanding the “fellowship of His Suffering” to be that daily embrace of death to self, so that one day I could honestly say “it is no longer I who live, but Jesus who lives in me!”So, all that…and now today, in the ashes of the reports about who and what I was, am and was thought to be…
Has anything changed, regarding my future?
Is there anything I can do to change the past?
Most important, do the experiences and judgments of others define me? Or do I retain the power to define myself and determine my own being in the midst of the future’s yet to be revealed manifestation?
A. I was completely guilty of every last accusation. I was an utter failure.
B. I was essentially who and what I thought I was, and given the fact that no one is without error and flaw I am not guilty of what I am indicted of.
I am confronted with a choice of what to do…how to respond, how to live, how to not respond and not live…and it is clear to me that my original 3-fold prayer and my current life mission statement are still viable and legitimate!
If “A” is true, then my daily quest is to learn from that bankrupt experience and use it as a platform to be a different person: to be
“the most gracious and kind, most tender encouraging, gentle hearted, faithful and patient person….truly live out loving my enemies, living a sacrificial life in joy (not that supercilious martyr-spirit sanctimony), being enthusiastic, being kind…always kind, and giving grace out as if it were as plentiful as the sands of the Sahara rather than so rare and precious as the most valuable pearls…truly forgive everything, and do so with power to make grace preeminent in a person’s life afterwards.”
If “A” is true, I have lost for the rest of my days in the earth the most important and truest treasures of my very marrow…and so that loss and pain shall become fuel to purpose to forever be better to others and give to them what I failed to give in spite of my highest and best efforts to my deepest hearts…that loss and pain shall make me tender and kind, and utterly forgiving of all wrongs, for God knows how deeply I stand in need of forgiveness.If “B” is true, then I am dealing with the complex combination of intersecting vectors involved with the becoming of other people and their lives chosen and lived out daily…and I have the greatest opportunity any human being can be given: the power to disappear wrong and hurt and cold love! I have the chance to “bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things…”. The chance to discover a true love, and live out the fulfilment of my 3-fold prayer.
Constance, have you noticed anything yet?
In either case, the past is past and has no power to keep me from the future I choose for myself!!
There is nothing…nothing…that I can do to change, undo, redo, do the first time when it comes to the past!
But there is everything I can do in terms of going forward.
This is Purposive Grace. The things others think or say do not define who I am and want to be. I do.
And thus I chose to be…Charissa Grace.May everyone who reads this understand this is the true meaning of my name: it is a promise of a hope and a future, and an undying commitment to choose God always, die to myself, and be a real christian who looks like Jesus.
My love always and ever, Heart, if you ever read here…ever.
Just know there is already forgiveness and welcoming heart, and utter commitment to giving what is in my power to give. Of course I am aware of your “aught against me” and I am utterly committed to taking responsibility for every wrong action, every action undone that should have been. But should it ever come to it, you never ever need to revisit any word spoken that you may later regret. It is already heard, received for what its heart cry was, sucked dry of all that is good and discarded into the seas of forgiveness for all that was other than good.
Constance…how about you?
How do you choose to live? What hold will you allow the past on you? What vision will you grip and be gripped by? Please join me in this quest towards a life lived in Purposive Grace…ya never know: there could be miracles ahead!
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly.