Sharing My Truth
F or as long as I can remember, I have had my own personal understanding of God’s love for me. For this I am grateful, because this understanding saved me from a life of suffering. The first time I declared the Lord’s love in my life above all, I was six. In response to rejection from my mother, I vowed to never let anyone’s love, or lack there of, eclipse the love I knew God had for me. This was a powerful moment in my young life, because it was the day I decided not to let my circumstances dictate my future.
By technical definition, I was being raised as an orphan. My maternal great-grandmother was granted guardianship of me after my mother suffered severe mental illness post my birth. It took me 27 years to forgive my parents for the pain of abandonment I felt as a child.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11
With my guardian angel Clarabelle at the helm, I sped through my childhood with lots of laughter, academics, and a warlike approach to “breaking the cycle.” I would be the first woman in five-generations of my maternal lineage to graduate high school, college, and be married before having a baby. By age 22, I thought my life was set. I was living the dream in New York City. I was a college graduate, engaged, and employed by a major corporation with a salary 5x the size of the household income of my youth. Then God stepped in.
Up until this time, I had lived a pretty stoic life. My ambition to be perfect or shall I say my fear of failure kept me on the straight and narrow. The suppressed pain from my non-existent relationship with my mother drove me to an addictive work-a-holic lifestyle. My interaction with God was very religious versus relationship based. I went to church faithfully, I blessed my food, I sang and danced in religious ministries, but most of my prayer life was centered on God granting my wishes for perfection. I knew that God loved me, but did I love him?
One-month before my college graduation, my grandmother died. This began a four-year cataclysmic divine storm that disrupted every ideal I had about who I was as a person, what I was suppose to be doing with my life, and how I could get about the business of doing it. Between 2009 – 2013, I experienced the death of my great-great grandmother, my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother, and my first-born son. I have had days when I hated and doubted myself to the brink of hopelessness and suicidal thoughts. But I never forgot that Jesus loves me.
When most people would have questioned God to run away from him, I begged him to draw me closer. What could have destroyed me, instead, fueled my new beginning. Through my many tests and trials, I came to the transformational understanding that I am a child of God. I am not my mom’s or my dad’s, or a black woman, or a chick from West Philly, or a college grad, or a wife, or even a mother. These are all roles that I play in the journey of life, but who I am is a spiritual being having a human experience, aka a child of God.
I am aware that our worst days are the days we feel hopeless, helpless, and unable to take responsibility for the direction of our own lives by surrendering to divine providence. A lot of people feel this way daily. For some it’s warranted, but for most it’s not. They are more or less influenced by early development paradigms that tell them that they are everything but a child of God. When folks can practice encouraging themselves to see beyond their own perspective and to adopt a selfless God consciousness about their situation, they are more easily able to live in peace. We will never be able to avoid the storms of life, but even in those situations the righteous man can find assurance in knowing “God loves Me,” “God is Good,” and “This Too Shall Pass.”
The Clarissa Joan Experience is a platform dedicated to my personal development of a deeper relationship with God. It is a labor of love with the intention of creating a safe space for discussion about one’s love of God and the spiritual practices that uphold that love.
I am living witness to the truth of Romans 8:28 “that all things work together for good to those who love God, who have been called according to his purpose.” For I know there is no problem, guilt, shame, pain, anger, fear, bondage, hopelessness, or suffering that Jesus cannot heal, but it is up to us to commit to the process of getting on one accord with the perfect will of God. Knowing this, I share my truth to inspire a movement of God consciousness for the betterment of myself, my family, and anyone else of strength and courage willing and able to walk in the way of the Lord.