Two weeks ago we listened to Carissa tell her story which resonated with many of us on different levels. The increadible thing about sharing our stories as we have been the last couple of weeks is that we get to see people; their personalities, their quirks, their certain jadedness, as a result of distinct shaping experiences that they have had throughout their life.

The thing about Carissa’s story was that she told it with such a vulnerability that I felt as though we had been let in on a secret event, or an independant film depicting her life. I noticed that the thing that connected us so deeply with her story was the parts of it that reminded us of our own experiences. For example, any of us who have struggled with understanding equality in gender roles, judgment in the church, or a painful disconnection with loved ones in the past, could taste the kind of experiences that Carissa related.

Her awareness that she’s always been one “prone to tears” didn’t prevent her from delving into the most difficult valleys in her life explaining what is was like when she felt the shame of being left out from her siblings becuase she was a girl, the pain of her parent’s divorce, and struggling with the fact that the church was sending messages that alienated her brother and told her that as a female, she was best suited as a house wife. She explained her frustration through these times as well as sources of relief and understanding.

Personally, I have always been joyous to be female, although thoroughly defensive to anyone who attacks my ability to do anything for gender reasons. Carissa’s explanations of her discoveries echoed my feelings on these matters as far as her realization that her femininity could be celebrated and non restrictive!

There is much more depth to her story than I have explained here and I would encourage you to listen the audio post on this page. Another thing we discussed at the meeting was how we would deal with worst-case scenarios in our new home. It’s something we wouldn’t like to imagine ever happening but procedures need to be in place to show our professionalism as and ablilty to handle various situations. We spoke about making detailed budgets and lists, taking security training courses and getting sample forms for accounting and office finances.

Another topic brought up was fundraising. Perhaps putting on a show with our wealth of artists and musicians in our community?


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