My Testimony

God of Purpose

One day, a few years ago, I’d been thinking and praying about “my testimony” – what is my story? when did it begin? and how I came to realize what life really is…?

Some people know the day and the exact hour their new lives really began. I’d been really pondering about this transformation of myself into the daughter of the King that I’m called to be today.

The truth is, my testimony has never been the same, as it will – ALWAYS – be changing and transforming, as we grow in our relationship with Jesus. He has used so many people, trials, and opportunities, both positive and negative, to create my ever-growing story – HIS STORY – because there is only one true author.

As a child, I was blessed with two parents, who always had their eyes and interests in us kiddos. My brother and I had the opportunity to be home school for a portion of my youth – being able to learn young about the beauty of God’s love in this environment was memorable and safe. And when I hear other’s testimonies, the ones that are so moving and powerful – always seem to include a sense of a destructive family situation. Although my family is far from perfect – I always come back to this place of being blessed that I did, and still do have two loving parents and a  {two} home, which I know is sometimes be taken advantage of.

Anyways, I grew up in a seemingly perfect, little bubble, but beyond the picturesque family photos and good intentions of the surface – as a family we were still lacking God. Now, I can’t say that my parents didn’t have hearts for God, but they hadn’t truly given their whole lives completely over to Christ. Even as believers, we still struggle with this…

My family was Catholic – in our time there, it was confusing. Especially, as a kid – all the rules and certain repetitions of the rosary or praying to Mary and confessing to a Priest, rather than to our Father and Jesus Christ. It was hard to really engage this type of Jesus – to have a real relationship {Matthew 5:17}.

We left the Catholic church and God brought us to a small non-denominational church. At the time, it was difficult from both sides of our family – practicing or not – it seemed more about conformity {Romans 12:12}. However, this new church showed what God’s love looks like. And here, my mom, brother and I were baptized in the Medina River.

This is the first-step moment of beginning a new journey – but in the years looking back, I was far from the wholeness that one would think after the point of salvation. This moment, however gave me a light of hope and a rooted foundation that I desperately needed for my upcoming trials {James 1:2-4} …

Not long after being at this new church, my parents were getting divorced. For longer than I was aware my father was battling alcoholism. What followed was lots of adjusting… between visitation and custody agreements, new homes, while barely entering middle school. My reality was filled with recovery and remarriage.

{All} of this and so much more, occurred in the most moldable time of youth and teen years. Yet God blessed me with solid best-friends, teachers and other influences that rooted me in the talents and academic strengths I displayed. I met Ms. Mary, who I call one of the most-influential people, then and still today – who shared Jesus’ love in every breath, word, and action she took, as Jesus simply radiates to her, from her, and through her {Romans 11:36}. I had a chance because of her – as she was the first to see all that was against me, while still see all that I have ahead of me.

God put a fire of hope in me and my heart early on – I was presented with the responsibility of growing up quickly and facing the worries that someone my age shouldn’t – but God was using it to make me strong, and to teach me to endure through the trials {Job 2:10}.

Although this reality did not take me into a place of bitterness, or anger, I did find it affect my genuineness in my identity and relationships. As beings, we soak up the characteristics, behaviors, and effects of those around us. Similarly, as a young high schooler, found myself drawn to guys who were looking for a Rescuer and myself in attempt to bring them into the light, in the same way I desired to help my dad. I was losing parts of myself, as they had no good intentions, nor wanted God, which indirectly led me away from God. After years and relationships, I ultimately started to become true to myself, and God again – God gave me not what I deserved, but the opportunity to surrender, to find true love in Him alone.

Today, I have peace that Jesus forgives and restores with His endless grace – making my heart pure in His righteousness. With Jesus, He transforms even the most broken of his children into his most precious ones…

I didn’t have this security until the Valentine’s Day I was so honored to spend with Jesus at my first Passion Conference. I left knowing, without a doubt that my ‘old self’ was staying, and a new and renewed self was coming home. I knew God has bigger things intended for me – a purpose and freedom. And since then, what God has really given me was not these – but the contentment in His will through His love and plans. The years of singleness, the highs and the lows, the opportunities to travel, the dedication to my education, the experience through jobs and internships, while being mentored and displaying a mentor – all was God strengthening my identity and perseverance in Him – experiencing the expression “to love and be loved”.

So, to define that one exact day and hour that God breathed new life into my heart would be limiting a limitless God – because this journey calls for someone who is prepared to recommit daily and forgive often.

I could stop here and say that my struggles were once and are no longer, but that’s not what Christianity is – I could say that “I am a Christian”, as if that makes me better, but it doesn’t. It means that every day that I am and will be, I’ll be struggling, wrestling and fighting with worldly desires, temptations, and distractionsbut because I do have God in my heart, He’ll use me and this story to share… because I’m not perfect, but I’m forgiven, as Jesus is perfect in me.