My belief in God was never the issue, It was my lack of seeking to know Him more.
Throughout my childhood and teenage years, God’s existence showed up through ordinary yet memorable ways: a portrayal of Jesus hanging in my grandparents’ condo, my grandmother’s massive-sized Bible, and the nativity scene I got to set up every December. As for church, we went occasionally, holidays included.
But the older I got, the traces of His presence faded.
A lot happened during my teen years, but I’ll stick to the occurrences that greatly impacted my life.
When I was seventeen, I unintentionally overdosed on drugs, which resulted in chronic anxiety, panic disorder, depression, and other health issues.
It was also the first time (while going in and out of consciousness during the overdose) when I mentally prayed to God, asking Him to let me live for the sake of my grandparents.
At the age of nineteen, I became a mother. Then I got married and had three more children. The marriage, however, didn’t last.
As if the consequences of my past mistakes and sins were not enough, the anxiety of being a single mother was added to my fractured soul.
The only thing in life that brought me joy was motherhood. My children motivated me to face each day, despite the ongoing battles from the inside out.
That said, I gave my life to Jesus at the age of twenty-two during my ten-year marriage. Yet nothing changed.
As a new Christian, I lacked the discipleship in order to grow, including the much-needed community of fellow believers. This caused the anxiety and depression to get worse.
I was devastated and angry at God for not giving me the miraculous transformation I expected, So in my desperation, I yoked myself with the wrong people, which resulted in me dabbling with the occult and paganism even though I still believed in God.
Looking back, I only had myself to blame for falling away. I was impatient and irresponsible for not seeking Him, for not working out my own salvation.
But eight years later, I cried out again begging God to save me from myself and from the dark, lonely world around me.
Instantly, a spiritual shift took place, leaving me full of passion to follow Him with all my heart. (I was on fire with the Holy Spirit!)
Months later I started going to church and Bible study…God’s hand of favor was on me and my children. He rescued us from a life of dysfunction and domestic abuse.
As more time went by, God blessed me (even greater!) with a super supportive and loving husband, and another child to add to our family.
We have five children and five grandchildren, and to this day, I’ve been married to my second husband for seventeen years!
With God’s continual love and support, I’ve been able to live with greater hope, courage, and gratitude amid my daily struggles.
I’m also thankful for the love of books, writing, coffee, pastries, karaoke, wholesome TV shows/movies, TJ Maxx…the delightful things of everyday life.
Even though I’m still on my journey to healing and wholeness, I want to encourage you that God is always good. And nothing is too hard for Him. Not only does He work through the healed and delivered, but He can also reach others through the poor in spirit and the brokenhearted. Through the isolated and sick. And through the weak.
Then he said to me, “This is what the LORD says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. (Zechariah 4:6 NLT.)
But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. 10 So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power. (2 Corinthians 12:9,10 TPT.)
So, we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together for good, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose. (Romans 8:28 TPT.)
God truly is my Hope, Joy, Strength, Protector and Provider. And Miracle Worker!
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