Welcome! My name is Karissa, but I’m becoming Kiona. 🙂 Who’s Kiona? You can find out more about that here, but for now, know that I am Karissa, and I am on a journey of discovering all that I am in Christ. Here is a little bit about my story and why I am so passionate about this topic:
Avoiding my Identity
For a long time, I avoided learning about who I am in Christ.
As a kid and into adulthood I battled greatly with shame and condemnation. I was so focused on my sin, so focused on what I was not, that I couldn’t see who God was making me to be. It wasn’t until college that I began to learn what the gospel meant for me on a daily basis. I began to really believe Romans 8- that there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. In a college dorm with about 8 other women, I told my full testimony for the first time. I finally was free to tell the story without shame because I had come to understand that it really isn’t MY testimony I was sharing.
Learning about God
In college I began to know God in a way that I never knew Him before.
My mind was absolutely blown by the things I discovered. As I got to know Him, He did something I never imagined He would- He had me learn about my name. WHAT?! I was suppose to take time to learn about myself? This was completely foreign to me. I really thought it was selfish to do that.
Learning about Myself?
Nevertheless, this is what the Lord was prompting me to do, so I walked forward in it. It was very uncomfortable at first! Karissa means beloved. I realized that I never really believed that I was loved. I knew intellectually that God loved me, but the shame in my life was so overpowering, that I really didn’t believe it on a daily basis. So I began to read all the scripture I could about God’s love for me. It was so refreshing.
At the same time this was happening, my husband and I had just begun dating. He has been INCREDIBLY instrumental in my journey of learning who I am in Christ. Our dating relationship was not all butterflies and staring for hours into each other’s eyes- we really worked through some tough stuff. He entered into a relationship with me when I was just beginning to heal from all the false things I had believed about myself and about God. And healing is messy at first right?
Thankfully, my husband stuck it out. To be honest, he did MUCH more than stick it out. He challenged me to go even further in my understanding of who I am. I can’t wait to tell you all the amazing things he did to guide me along the way! I didn’t always cherish it the way that I should have though. Why? Because I really didn’t want to go deeper. I felt I had gone out of my comfort zone enough just to understand that I was called “beloved”. Now I was to explore an even deeper identity? I was terrified. The identity and purpose I needed to embrace would take me to battle grounds. It would take me to places I had never gone, things I had never seen, and to people who are in great need of a Savior. I was terrified.
And can I tell you a secret? I still am.
Embracing my Identity
This blog is me taking a step of obedience in this journey of discovering who I am in Christ and becoming all that God wants me to be for the sake of His Kingdom.
And THAT is why I write. I believe that as children of God, we are VITAL in the kingdom. Our creative Creator made us all uniquely and for a specific purpose. I believe it is of the utmost importance that we learn what God’s word says about us. It is also of the utmost importance that we take the time as individuals to discover how God has wired us. Whether we know it or not, people all around us are counting on us to be all that we can be in Christ. People’s lives are waiting to be impacted by that thing that God has put in your heart to pursue. Our friends, our family, our neighbors, people we don’t even yet know.
ARE YOU READY?
So what do you think? Are you ready? Will you join me in this journey of becoming all that we can be in Christ for the sake of His name, His glory, His fame?