Something happened today which prompted me to want to repost something that I wrote in January of 2014…so long ago, and yet only 4 years…
In order to understand where I am at emotionally and spiritually in light of the event which transpired today, you need a bit of a refresher…an understanding that the repost at the bottom of the page was written BEFORE so much took place:
I wrote the words I am reposting before I wrote about the beginning of the shunning from the spiritual culture as defined by the vast majority of Christian Evangelicalism…these words, which talk about the nearly total experience I have had with Christians from my past (there is one…ONE person who has verbally, physically, emotionally and spiritually received me who is from my past. She did so with tears of joy and literal kisses all over my cheeks and forehead, and was stricken as she thought back to the prison I was in and she was amazed that God had loosed this captive so wonderfully).
I wrote them before I wrote about a baby step of coming out that was looming…and ended up being a devastating attack and shunning by the time it played out.
I wrote them before I wrote about the shunning that happened on a monolithic totality in regards to every single friendship from the past which happened when I came out…I received a letter from a person that I had known for 30 years…a person that I had worshiped beside, shared many meals with…a person who had lived in our home…a person who I had walked alongside as they sojourned thru the valley of the shadow of an addiction which nearly destroyed family and self…a letter that shunned me in the Name of Jesus, The One Being who welcomes me constantly and says that His Blood is enough and more than enough for me…
I wrote them before I wrote of the public shunning that happened, when it was the searing abandonment in public circles.
I wrote it before the 21 Gun Salute took place, that professional execution I endured…that death, and the subsequent resurrection from those Phoenix Ashes…
I wrote about it before the horrid attacks coming from supposed Christians which were filled with literal perversions, profanities, and exhortations to kill myself…all given in the name of Jesus of course.
Yes. That literally happened.
So what happened today that precipitated this reminiscence?
This: there is a man from my past, a person that I met in the late 80s and who I was in close proximity with until the year 2005…this man operated (and perhaps still does? I really do not know. Lord knows that I have grown up, been pruned back, become more and become less, been adjusted, and healed of terrible blindnesses…so I do leave room for the possibility that this has happened with him as well. But I do not hold out a shred of hope, or a scintilla of expectation that this has happened, for the need of those who are deeply in thrall to a certain assumption and paradigm to punish me and punish me utterly is far greater than the ability to actually live out the sacrificial Love of Christ that went straight for every single person who was “yet dead in sin”…and not just to the so-called righteous)…
This man operated under a deep orientation that assumed all the doctrines related to “submission”, and truly felt it was the loving thing to enforce that notion…I have many many hurtful memories of those years, from the comments regarding my supposed “cheesy grin” that I supposedly wore (likely, it was whatever mask was on me during the deep dissociation of living trans in a male role and carrying the burden of remembering every detail so I could forget that I was a woman, and thus related to the fracturing events of early childhood) to the interactions which accused me of seeking to utilize my role as a worship leader on Sunday morning in service of self, to the utterly devastating final blow given in such “sad sorrowful tones” which said that my father was suffering and dying in the way he was because I was not properly submitted to “the leader” of this group…
There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that every single one of these actions was done from true conviction that it was the right and loving thing to do, based on the paradigm in which he (we) swam…indeed, I myself interacted with people who approached me for help and counsel as they struggled with their sexual orientations in light of the teaching assumptions we were under…and I gave the “answers” I had learned…and I grieve over that…so deeply…
I myself bought into attitudes and distortions of good teachings that I sincerely and 100% believed, and I thought those with other understandings to simply be sinners who were seeking to justify remaining in sin yet still retaining connection to God, and I simply…well, I simply did not have an ounce of compassion…
I shared the privileged view of the privileged…and had NO CONCEPT of the Other…
And it wasn’t until I was no longer “one of them”, not because I resigned membership in privilege, but because when I transitioned I was executed swiftly…
In the personal-relational realm
In the spiritual-religious realm
In the professional-economic realm…
So I know that the intention of those times was, within his own heart and self, “good”…
We also shared many other times too…good times where somehow who was submitted to who wasn’t that important and was never even thought of…such as working on each other’s houses…putting out a fire that started on a hill and nearly burned the entire area down…eating meals together…
Those years…I believe it was about 17 years…during those years I did a lot of dying, and had a lot to die to…and that place was the crucible of purification, in which I gained much wisdom thru death to self. I was so fractured…so young…and so deeply in the grip of dysphoria and dissociation which was the hidden reef under everything in my life.
He did not know anything about this…neither did I. And looking back, sooo many things just SHOUT it out so loudly, and while it is occasion of grief and mourning looking back, it also is comforting to know that at least there was a reason for it!
Well…Charissa’s Grace Notes is a public blog. And this man is a reader…regularly…how frequently, I really could not say, but based on my own internal tools I have as the creator, I suspect it is fairly regularly.
How did he even know I had a blog? I have not exchanged a word with this man for years…a good 7 years before I even transitioned, and certainly not a word since transition….God forbid! I am pretty sure he would not, and I KNOW I would not because I decided in 2014 that I would never again submit myself to spiritual abuse and attack from anyone to whom I was a priori a demon-possessed hell-bound apostate.
It is obvi that he found out about my blog via word of mouth…because it is funny: the biggest evils that scripture has volumes of teaching about (the tongue, the heart) are so easily ignored in Christendom in order to condemn the phantom evils which scripture never even speaks about (gender variance and orientation)…and wowsa did the word spread like fire!!
In fact, the person mentioned here even swore to me that he considered it his spiritual service and duty to God to out me to every single person he met, lest he be tainted by my “sin” of intentional self-deception and thus have my blood on his head. Yes…these sorts believe this: “If you see your brother approaching destruction and you do not restrain them, their blood is on your head”. They interpret this old Proverb as the license to attack anyone doing anything that is to them “a sin.” He told me that he needed to warn every single person he could that I was anathema and not to be received among “the brethren”…
try and imagine how this felt, and feels…
So anyway, I know that the man I am writing about this morning found my blog fairly easily, but after hearing the words of the tale-bearers, those morsels of gossip that go down so sweet and titillating…
But he has stuck around…and has been reading…for a long time, if I am guessing right…and because I am made who I am, and because of my heart towards God and understanding that I have been made thusly to break down walls and uproot lies and then to plant and build true kingdom attitudes, I have held out hope…a very very teeny tiny shred of hope…
…that maybe he has done the work, read the research…maybe he has examined the scriptures and his own assumptions…maybe he has the courage to know that in spite of anything he might believe about gender variance, the person he knew was truly a child of God and is still one now…that maybe he has met other transhumans…
I am not optimistic about this, or myopic…the odds are VERY slim.
But this man has done something, not once, but twice.
He has contributed money to my transition fund, each time choosing an amount which is significant to me as the number of my name.
But I am leery. It is not inconsistent with the old assumptions of that paradigm to do acts of charity or service for those considered lost and perishing. It is thought of as heaping coals of fire upon the head…it is thought of as setting an example…and sometimes it is flat out a genuine expression of God’s heart of love.
How do I know this? Because I have been there, done that…myself. Previously.
I am also skeptical and very wary because one of those donations referenced my children…and there is a huge assumption in play in those circles that a righteous relationship with God is able to be detected in the condition of relationship with one’s children and other family.
(Remember the remark about my dad suffering because I was “not submitted” and “rebellious”?)
It is not by any means whatsoever a stretch to see that particular donation coupled with that particular remark about my children as the “coin of unsanctified pity” and ultimately as a dig, a cut, an arrow shot in hopes of providing a wound that cleanses and restores…and if it was that, it was an arrow that shot and wounded and brought death because there literally is not a cleansing and restoring relatable to gender variance and orientation.
God knows there are plenty of areas in my heart that need adjusting and cleansing…it just so happens that being a woman who was assigned male at birth is not one of those areas, anymore than anyone need repent of their gender orientation, or their hair color, or leg length.
So I am very wary. (Oh yes: the donation this morning simply said “thinking of you”…and that was both a very simple comment and a very pregnant comment.)
The first time it happened, I accepted the donation, spent it on my legal costs in fact…yeah, dude…you helped me change my birth certificate, a great day in my life!! LOL!!!! But I did not reply or interact with the person, because I do not expect that interaction to be life giving and healing, but rather to be a battle and ordeal.
And then it happened again, this morning, and this one is significant to me…
…you see, just before the end of the year, on New Year’s Eve morning in the early morning, I dreamed about this person! In the dream, Jane and I had a place we were building up in the hills. We went up there one day to do some work in our structure, which was framed and roofed and wired and plumbed, but lacked sheetrock or siding and finish work trimming…and when we got there, we were shocked to discover that the entire area around us had been developed and had structures on it of various states of completion…all told, the area had around 30 houses, where there had just been ours and a lot of wild land.
We looked around a bit, confused and concerned, when who should approach us but this man who donated to me this morning! He walked up to us and called out to us…and looked me full in the eyes and greeted me with “Hello, Charissa, may I walk close to you?” I was very taken aback that he used my true name rather than my dead name and that he knew he needed to ask permission before moving close to me!!!
I said yes, and watched as he approached, and saw tears in his eyes. He extended his hand to shake hands, and I impulsively brushed his hand aside, greeted him by name, and gave him a hug. He did not shy away from the hug OR from the double reminders of who I truly am…and then he broke the embrace and held my by my shoulders at arms length and said that it was really good to seem me, Charissa…and his tears were streaming down his face.
I motioned around me and said “So what is happening here, and why are you up here?” Meaning the development and his presence where there had been nothing but our house and no one but us.
He looked down in what appeared to be sorrow or shame or conviction or regret, I really couldn’t get a good read on it…and then he looked up and said to us “I am so sorry, and I have been wrong. God has been working in my heart…in our hearts…and we wanted to learn.” I said “Who is the we you refer to and what are you sorry for?”
He said he was sorry for all the same things that I sorrowed over about what I used to think regarding LGTBQIA issues and Christian teaching, he was sorry about the same things I sorrowed about in terms of the expression of God’s heart in such a cancerous and poisonous way that evangelicalism has become…and that most of all he was sorry that he had automatically condemned transgender people to the label of (fill in your favorite slur, I am not using it today)…
and he said that the “we” he referred to were all people from this little group that grew up, insular and inbred, from a “school” that he helped to start and keep going…that around 30 people all had this deep repentance and wanted to walk away from that old set of beliefs, and that he had bought all the property around us, in order to live close to us and learn from us…
…and would we please teach him, teach them?
Well, Jane and I looked at each other, shocked, suspicious, wary, and on the verge of running.
(Credit: Tyrus Wong
Tyrus Wong, Bambi (visual development), 1942. Watercolor on paper)
But one this is so clear to me…more clear to me than nearly anything I have ever heard from God: It is completely and utterly inviolate to me that God Themself planned and intended to create me as I am from the start: A Transsexual Woman, who would grow up wounded and fractured and driven to God as my only hope of salvation from despair and ruination…and that it was a very sobering thing to Them to do this, for They knew full well the horror and pain this would be to me…and each of Them stepped forward and said “I am enough for her”…and the reason for this is that They had assigned my life destiny to be a prophetess to the people of God who forgot the Heart of God…to speak to them of God’s Heart for the ones who are slaughtered in every realm and sacrificed on the altar of gender…
and that it should be easy for those people to receive me and God’s message, for in those old days I doubt any of them would have thought I was hell-bound, and in those days virtually all of them thought that I heard from God regularly…even though “there is so much wrong” with me LOL!
And so because of that mission, that quest…and yes, the desire to set them free of their blindness and prejudice and hatred, we did not run…but stayed…and said that we would consider it, but had many things to be worked out, many boundaries to be defined…
The man was joyous in our response and agreed to this…
and then I woke up.
Of course, since this was a dream, I interpret the details and events symbolically. I got up from bed and sat and thought and prayed for awhile, wondering what in the world I was dreaming about that dude for!!!??? I had not even thought about him for a couple of years. Jane held similar puzzlement about it…and we both thought that it was talking about “a neighborhood of understanding/teaching/thinking/transformation” rather than an actual sub-division, and we saw both the man and the people he referenced as symbolic of that whole group of “white, cis-gendered, straight, evangelical Christian conservative” human beings who literally have NO IDEA how much they are bequeathed things on the basis of their race, their sexual orientation, their gender purity, and their religious understandings.
So we said a quick prayer…and I promptly forgot about it.
Until this morning.
Here is this comment “Thinking of you” and this monetary amount…and the dream rushed back…along with all the wariness, suspicion and other emotions which come from the experienced trauma and trial of those years.
The crucial thing to know is this: a bell, once rung, cannot be unrung. A woman who gives birth is always a mother, even if the child dies. There is no “going back” because there is no back to go to.
It is this way with me: I will never go back. He is dead, Caterpillar Dude…he is no more. He is the “back” and is gone. So there is no “going back”.
Any “kind indulgence” will not “induce to repentance” because there is nothing to be repented of in terms of my transition! As to repentance of any kind? Oh yes…the continual joy of beholding Jesus and being transformed by degrees from the glory of the letter which kills to the glory of the Spirit which is life…yunno…the same repentance we share in common.
I am not sure what I will spend this amount on…probably on my HRT, and this is a valued and well received gift.
I am always open to the generosity of heart and spirit that flows in God’s economy from they that have abundance to they that have need…and would always in that spirit welcome such donations/gifts…other gifts I have actually passed on to others in far greater need than I.
But if the spirit and intention of the gift is anything related to “getting me to go back”? To “repent” of “gender heresy” and “assume my old name and role?”
There is not a chance.
Those things are further from me than East is from West.
And if that spirit and intention is thus impure, then I consider the donation to be “the spoils of Egypt” and still put it to good use.
Wow…what a ramble, eh? If any are still with me, thanks for reading patiently.
Blessings to you today from our wonderful counselor and our comforter and the lover of our souls,
Charissa Grace White
God’s Graceful Gleam
via Updates about my life