Categories
Spiritual

Only Jesus Saves

It’s not about religion – it’s about a relationship with God. It’s not about rules – it’s about following the life of Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1) It’s not about what you can do for yourself but what you can do for others.

Serve in the name of the Lord, love in the name of the Lord, lead in the name of the Lord, pray in the name of the Lord, and praise in the name of the Lord.

The most important relationship you can have on this Earth is a relationship with God because nothing on this Earth will satisfy you like him.

Surrender to him. Your life, every aspect of it, financial, relationships, career, parenting, everything. You cannot bargain with him – it’s all or nothing.

Let him be the God of everything. He provides all you need, and he wants to provide the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

God is great, faithful, merciful, and loving. There is nothing you have done that the Lord won’t forgive. (Ephesians 1:7) (Isaiah 1:18)

cross dawn dusk landscape
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Categories
Blog

Engagement Party SURPRISE!

It’s funny how a few weeks ago I was writing about how I couldn’t believe I was getting married and little did I know that our engagement party was being planned.

Jonathan’s friend from work and my aunt had this planned for about a month and I seriously had NO idea about it.

It started when we went to Jonathan’s friend’s house to talk about what kind of meal we wanted for our wedding since she has a catering business, shout out to Bluefields Kitchen. And apparently, after we left she texted my aunt to start planning the engagement party.

We had set up to meet again a month later, so on October 20th, to try out the food we talked about. That gave them PLENTY of time to plan. LOL

So, the morning of, while we were at church, she texted Jonathan to ask us to not dress too casual because she wanted to do like a promotional video and pictures for her business.

After church, I had to go try on my dress and my aunt met up with me at the store. She brought my grandma along and she started to tell me that the wedding tasting was postponed. I was so confused and asked my aunt, “why does she keep saying that?” And she replied she didn’t know. I really didn’t give it no mind and moved on.

On our way to Jonathan’s friend’s house, my dad called on Video-chat and asked me if we were on our way already? I told him yes. We talked for a little bit and then when he hung up Jonathan said to me, “well he’s happier than usual today.” I said, I’m not sure why. But obviously, now we know. ūüôā

Once we arrived at Jonathan’s friend’s house I texted her we were there but she wasn’t replying so I called her, no answer. We got back in the car to wait. She replied that she would be right there. Once she arrived she told us to give her a few minutes to get ready because she set everything up by the pool.

We waited in the car listening to throwback music. I was on my phone and Jonathan was just chilling because his phone had died. After about 10 minutes Jonathan tells me he thinks something is up, like she is doing a surprise. I asked, “why do you think that?” He replied because she had mentioned it before but with people from work but he wasn’t sure.

We talked for a little longer and then she came out and got into her car and we followed her to the pool area where the clubhouse for her apartment complex was. She told us she was going to start recording us walking into the clubhouse for the promotion video and next thing you know we walk in and SURPRISE! 

I saw our friends and family all at the top level of the clubhouse and I was in shock. I started to walk in and then I felt overwhelmed and walked out because I started crying. 

I got myself together and walked back in again and hugged my grandma, my aunt, my little sister, and everyone else. I saw my cousins who I hadn’t seen in a few months, which was wonderful. Oh, I was overjoyed that all this was happening. Lia then came and grabbed my hand to show me all the pictures of Jonathan and me that were placed around the clubhouse. The decorations were so charming, pink, white, and gold balloons everywhere that said, “Future Mrs” and “She Said Yes!” White flower streamers hanging in the middle, my little sister placed the cups in the shape of an H, J, and three hearts on the table. Everything was just perfect.

We took pictures, we talked, played games, ate, and honestly had a marvelous time. I couldn’t stop smiling and I still couldn’t believe all of this was happening. It had been the first time being surprised like that and it made me feel so loved and grateful that we are surrounded by so many people that love and care for us.img-20191020-wa0179

img-20191020-wa0116

img-20191020-wa0174

This was when we first walked in.

img-20191020-wa0038

Our precious cake

img-20191020-wa0097

Loved the details

img-20191020-wa0091

img-20191020-wa0082

img-20191020-wa0056

img-20191020-wa0003

Photos by: XoxoSaraiPhotography

Categories
Blog

Loving again….

After being hurt and deciding to give love another try is brave but extremely scary. A lot of people are stand-offish and very overprotective of their hearts the next time around. They may have doubts. They may give the person a hard time but you cannot punish one person for what the other person did.

This is why it’s important to give yourself time in between relationships. You were so connected to this one person, so involved in everything, became intimate with them and you will carry part of that person with you.

Take the time to detach yourself from that person. Find yourself again. Some people get so involved and attached in a relationship they lose themselves in it and forget who they were prior to the relationship. Do things that bring you joy, peace, and comfort, especially if you were betrayed or extremely hurt in the past relationship. Therapy or anything therapeutic would be a great way to start. You have to give yourself time to trust again.

Remember that not everyone is the same so if you do start a new relationship after betrayal you cannot compare your new relationship with your last relationship. Unless you’re starting to see the same type of behavioral patterns as your last relationship. We all learn something in each relationship.

I salute everyone who loves again or gives love another try after being betrayed because it is NOT easy at all to trust again. But there is someone out there for everyone just remember to NEVER settle and love DOESN’T hurt, if it hurts it isn’t LOVE.

Categories
Blog

I’M GETTING MARRIED!

20190925_222430

I never thought I would be saying those words! Never did it cross my mind that I would be engaged and experiencing everything I’m experiencing right now. The wedding preparations, finding a venue, trying on wedding dresses, wedding meetings, and everything that comes with it. I always saw other people get married and have their big day but I never pictured any of that for me. Especially, not after my last relationship. I was convinced that I wouldn’t find someone and that I would be single forever.

You know after hearing over and over again that I was too complicated, that I argued too much, that I got mad too easily, and that no one would be patient enough for me or handle my mood swings, I really thought I would be alone. And I’m too young to think like that but when people plant that over and over in your mind, you start to believe it. But anyway, I’ve realized, I was just with the wrong person because now, I don’t argue, I’m not quick to get angry, I don’t have mood swings, and I’m really not a complicated person.

I have never been this happy in my life. Probably since the day Lia was born. I feel like I’m living in a fairytale, no just kidding, but seriously though, everything I was hoping and wishing for in a relationship I now have.

I was never asking for too much, I was just asking the wrong person. I read that somewhere and it made sense.

It’s also amazing how everything has been working out. Honestly, it’s all of God’s doing because I had been praying for a while now about getting married. I thank God every day for our relationship but I had been asking and praying for if we were to get married and here we are and everything is working out smoothly.

As I look back sometimes, it’s crazy to me how blind we can be. Thinking I had it all but really was living a lie. I’m just so glad that now my reality isn’t just a dream, it’s happening and with the most amazing man ever. I could probably write a book about how amazing he is but I won’t. ūüôā

Only 130 days until I am Mrs. De La Cruz. But who’s counting. ūüėČ

Categories
Blog

LifeWay Women Live 2019

Two weekends ago¬†I had the pleasure of attending my first Women’s conference ever! It was the¬†LifeWay Women Live Women’s conference, and I had no idea what to expect, but I was ready to receive the word of God from these phenomenal women who were speaking at the conference.

Prior to the conference, I had only heard of a few of the speakers, like Lysa Terkeurst, who is the founder of Proverbs 31 Ministeries, and I listen to their podcast. Whitney Capps is also part of the Proverbs 31 Ministeries family, and I usually hear her on the radio, and of course, I knew Mandisa.

The event took place at the Addition Financial Arena on the UCF campus in Orlando, Florida, from Friday, July 19th through Saturday, July 20th. It was two days that¬†consisted of empowering, impactful, life-changing, eye-opening, Jesus filled messages that really spoke to me. Emotions were definitely running high during most of the messages, and I’m not one to cry, but some even had me teary-eyed.

Friday, July 19th

As we walked in, we received the program, a goodie bag, and a rock. Each rock had either a bible verse or a cross on it. Mine had the verse Psalms 46:10, “Be Still.”

20190719_184322

There was enough time to mingle, get some food, walk around and see different sponsors and organizations that were available. Finally, we got to our seats, they had a first come first serve seating arrangement, so we ended up sitting in the center in section 102 with a perfect center stage view.

20190719_191141

The evening began with worship led by Lauren Chandler, who has an angelic voice. And the wonderful host Jamie Ivey then introduced the first speaker, Christine Caine.

Christine Caine started her talk with Luke 7 verses 1-10, stating this is one of the two times in the Bible where Jesus is marveled. In this verse, she explained that he was marveled at the man’s faith. In Mark 6 verse 1-6, Jesus was marveled at the lack of faith the people had. She mentioned that we need to have a faith that marvels Jesus because sometimes Jesus marvelous at our unbelief. We need more believers than unbelievers, and at times, we get so used to the Christian culture that we forget that Jesus can shift things in our life. She said how we get so caught up in posting the perfect life that we forget to be intimate with Jesus. We are so busy trying to impress others when, in reality, we need to be impressing him. She reminded us that we are in this world, but we are not of this world.¬†Faith is not about understanding it is about trust. Do you fully trust Jesus? And she ended with asking us that everyone is going to die but are we going to live the life that Jesus called us to live?

I was left in awe afterward because as much notes as I wanted to write down sometimes, I would just listen and take it all in. She was funny, but she spoke with so much truth!

We then heard the story of sponsorship through the organization Compassion. Through compassion, you can sponsor a child in need and help with their medical needs, give access to education, and much more. The story we heard was a girl who was from Uganda, and she had lost both her parents from an early age but because of compassion and her sponsor she was able to receive medical care and finish her education. She then went on to become a nurse. It is incredible to hear about organizations like this that provides aid and help to those in need around the world.

After compassion, we had the privilege to see Mandisa perform. She sang so beautifully and powerfully. I absolutely love her voice and her songs, they all have a positive message. During the middle of the performance, she shared a beautiful testimony of when her brother got saved. She even wrote a song for him called, “Dear, John.”

20190719_205328

Saturday, July 20th

Saturday morning started again with worship led by Lauren Chandler. And the first speaker to start us off was Kelly Minter. She began with the book of 1 Samuel chapter 25 verse 13 through 31, and she told us how she identified with Abigail in this story because she was a woman of courage. She came with God’s word. Kelly reminded us that no one will stop the will of God in our lives and that we sometimes take matters into our own hands when we are in the in-between. Her message was about when we are in the in-between season that we sometimes get impatient want to do things on our own. Sometimes we make our own battles, battles that God didn’t even want us to fight, but if we stay true to God’s word and come with God’s word he will fight the battles for us. She told us to walk the path of the straight and narrow, there is no other way. Hang on tightly to God’s promises, remember them. Kelly reminded us to not give up and not to fight the wrong battles.

The following speaker was Lysa TerKeurst, and her message was about forgiveness. She started her message with, “I am a sinner.” It’s essential that we recognize that we are all sinners, and no one is perfect.¬†We all have been through hard things, and we are all carrying a lot of weight, many deep emotions.¬†Everyone makes mistakes, and we are going to have to forgive others for their mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes will hurt us or have hurt us. She highlighted Ephesians chapter 4 verse 26 to 27 and how it talks about not letting the sun go down on our anger and how we sometimes argue¬†with our significant other, and they want to go to bed, and we pull out this verse and try to finish the argument right¬†there but she mentioned we need to remember the verse says, “our anger” not their anger. We need to find the deeper meaning of our anger. Why are we angry? Lysa tied this back to Genesis chapter 4 verses 1 through 6, but specifically verse 6 to 8, where the Lord asked Cain, ‚ÄúWhy are you angry? Why is your face, downcast? 7¬†If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.‚Ä̬†She reminded us that when we are angry, we leave the door wide open to the enemy and he will use¬†the anger¬†against us, but we do have the ability to rule over sin, with God. Lysa said forgiveness is mandatory even if reconciliation isn’t the outcome.¬†She also explained¬†how forgiveness is a decision and a process, and she explained like this. You decide it¬†was time to forgive but you will have triggers, and it will hurt, and feelings will come back, the anger will come back, but you must remember you decided it was time to forgive. It won’t be easy, but you can do it, with God. She left us with this powerful statement, the more battles we do on our knees, the less we have to do with our flesh.

We were then dismissed for a 30-minute break.

The third speaker of the day was Whitney Capps, and she was hilarious! I absolutely loved her honesty. She initiated her talk by saying how when she gathers with girlfriends, they always talk about everything that is wrong with them, like what they are struggling with or what is going on in their lives. She said we say a lot about us, but what about Jesus? We don’t ever talk enough about him. She spoke about how we try to fix our own problems instead of leaning on Jesus. Self-help leads to frustration, and this is so true. She then went on talking about sanctification and explained how this is the process of becoming more like Jesus. It’s about who we are coming, and we have to remember it is God’s work. Whitney asked us a fundamental question, are you more like Jesus today than you were a year ago?

Let Jesus work inside of you. Let Jesus be the hero of your story because he is the hero of your story. Stop doing yourself what Jesus is trying to do in you. She went on to explain regeneration and how after we accept Jesus into our lives, we are alive. Then justification happens, which is the process of Jesus awakening us. Getting legally right with God. She reminded us to live out our faith and walk in faith. Although we live in a cultured Christianity, God’s word is always the truth, and we need to be gospel anchored in the truth. Although the church is a community, another person shouldn’t be the first person you conference your sins to, she went on to say. You should have talked to God first about your sins before you go on and talk to a friend about it. Whiney said, confession is easy, but change is hard, another truth. The last of my notes say, I am better because of Jesus. Jesus is changing me. Whitney did an altar call and had us pray an acceptance prayer for Jesus into our lives. Women who had prayed this for the first time that day, she called them down to have prayer over them. It is so beautiful to witness people who accept Jesus into their lives and be saved.

We were then dismissed for lunch.

After lunch, there was a Q&A session with Mary Beth Chapman. She announced The Great Alaskan Adventure cruise that she and her husband will attend next year and how anyone can go with them. Her husband, Steven Curtis Chapman then surprised everyone by coming out on stage and performed two songs.

img-20190730-wa0013

The second to last speaker for the conference was Lisa Harper, she came out on stage with her beautiful daughter, from Haiti, and she told us this horrific story about a time when she was riding her 3-wheel motorcycle with a sidecar, and she was with her daughter. As Lisa was riding she noticed some fellows, who had caused trouble before, were coming up behind her and she started praying that nothing would happen, but they caught up right beside her and threw cola cans at them, while yelling racial slurs, and also drove them off the side of the road. When they arrived home, Lisa sat her daughter in the living room to try to explain what had happened and she told her daughter that there are specific individuals who have really small hearts and minds and only associate themselves with people that look at them. Her daughter then replied that she knew what they had to do, they had to try to make their hearts bigger! I’m not usually one to get emotional, but this story really shook me and got me teary-eyed. Lisa told us to open our eyes and our hearts to the Lord and to love always, even when it’s hard. She said the world will recognize we are Christians based on our love. She referenced James chapter 2, verses 14 to 27 and asked if we aren’t living God’s truth do we really believe? Another scripture she referenced was 1 John, chapter 4, verse 7 to 21, and this one speaks about Love and how we need to love one another.

The last speaker was Jackie Hill Perry, and my notes from her message are short because she spoke so fast, but I was so intrigued by her message that I just wanted to take it all in. Her whole message was based upon Jude, chapter 1, verse 24, and 25. She mentioned that we struggle to trust God because we have a hard time seeing God. We are used to “see to believe,” but God really is who he says he is. She said it’s crazy that what sets us free is what we are most afraid of and that is truth! Jackie told us that even if everyone around us is falling God will keep you in your place. We cannot idolize because only God can be God for us. God is the only things that can satisfy us. She also spoke about community and said Jesus is the savior of many people, so we are never alone. God doesn’t want us to be alone. Be in the community of fellow believers. The last reminder is that God does not change.

This conference is something I really needed and I’m glad I was able to attend. I related the most to Lysa Terkeurst¬†because I had been through a similar experience and I understood exactly what she was talking about. All the women were¬†wonderful and each had a powerful message to give us. I do believe I am closer to Jesus this year than I was last year and I want to continue to grow in my faith. I find myself to be calmer and more at peace than I was years ago. I really do see God working in my heart and in my life. I’m helping people more, not getting angry as easily as I used to, little things that used to bother me don’t bother me anymore, and my hunger for God’s word and love is growing. I’m excited to see what more God has in store for my life. I will definitely attend another LifeWay Women’s conference or any other Women’s conference available. I also recommend for any women to attend one of these wonderful conferences.

img-20190720-wa0001

 

Categories
Blog

Why I write

I write blog posts and poetry. When I get asked, “what do you write about?” I usually just respond, “everything and anything.” I never wanted my blog to be about a particular topic, I just wanted to write about whatever I wanted to write about. When I first started this blog 6 years ago I had no idea what I wanted to blog about. I don’t even have any followers on my blog. ūüôā But I did want something to reflect back on, look back and see how far I’ve come and everything I’ve overcome. Some posts are private because they are just for me to read but some are public and I’ve JUST started sharing my posts on Facebook.

Poetry, I started writing in 7th grade and I remember having a notebook where I would write them. I would share them with my friend Caylie but not really anyone else. I wish I still had that notebook. I used to also have another notebook of just writing random things, like how my day was going, or just my deepest thoughts. So, in a way, I can say that I’ve always been a writer, although I stopped writing for years! Life happened along the way and I stopped.

I started writing poems again last year but instead of a notebook, I started writing them in my blog. Not yet sharing them on social media but it has always been public on here. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I decided to open an Instagram account just for poems but even there I don’t share all of them.

The reason why I write is to express myself. My poetry is sometimes about me, what I went through, my feelings, or my thoughts. But sometimes it can be just creative writing, not necessarily something personal, it could be triggered by a song I heard, something I read, or a random topic that came to mind. I write when it comes to me and it just usually flows. Sometimes I’ll write one poem a day, sometimes I’ll write 6 poems in a day. I like writing short poems more because I feel that people’s attention span has gotten shorter and shorter as time goes, so I make them short and straight to the point.

I don’t write for pity or to have people feel sorry for me. Some of the poems are my truths and some are just for creative writing. It has definitely helped me with my traumas and has been a great outlet for me, but I am definitely not looking for anyone to feel sorry for me.

I’ve thought about publishing but not yet, I have some other plans first and then I’ll work on publishing. If writing takes me somewhere then great and if it doesn’t that’s fine too. I just hope to impact at least one person and to have them know that we all have issues and a past we are trying to recover from. No one is perfect.

Categories
Blog

Therapy Advocate

I’ve been familiar with therapy since I can remember, although I didn’t know it was therapy until I was older. I was about six or seven years old when I had to see this older man with big glasses, and he would ask me questions while I played with the toys in the room. He would ask me questions about my parents together, then separate questions about my mom and separate questions about my dad and questions about me. I had no idea really what was going on, but I remember meeting my mom’s lawyer and having to go to court, but I didn’t go inside; I stayed outside the courtroom with my maternal grandmother. I remember the therapy was in the same building where my father’s attorney’s office was, and I recall one day asking my dad why he was writing a check, he told me for a visit, and I asked him how much, he said,,, $100. I asked him, surprised, every time we come, it’s $100? He replied, yes. Of course, I was in complete shock. I had already been there multiple times, and for a 6-year-old, $100 is an enormous amount of money. A few years ago, I recently tried to retrieve those therapy notes, but since it has been over seven years and the practice went to electronic medical records, they no longer had them.

The next time I had to go to therapy, back to the same older man, was when I was thirteen years old after an incident occurred that ended me getting into a physical altercation with my mother. This incident also introduced me to depression; it introduced me to not eating for days, not sleeping, chronic fatigue, and paranoia. I remember just wanting to be home to Michigan, where I felt safe, with my father. I was on the next flight home to Michigan after the police report was filed in Florida, and I remember at the airport, as soon as my step-mother saw me, she cried. I had to go to my primary care doctor to get checked up, and they also made notes of the incident I had just been in because I had to explain the bruises I had on my arms. Then I went back to the same older man from before. These therapy sessions I don’t really remember; I believe it’s from me trying to block these memories out altogether. I just remember getting tired of repeating this horrible story over and over again.

Since the first time I fell into a depression, I remember it coming and going, like whenever something happened, I would get extremely sad, but it wasn’t just feeling sad; it was also feeling like I had no purpose, like I was worthless, and also not having any energy to do anything. I constantly compared myself to my friends and never felt good enough for anything. My self-esteem dropped drastically, and I felt like I needed reassurance from others to feel good about myself, and this went on for years.

At the young age of twenty-three, already living in Florida by this time, my mother passed away, and this is something I didn’t think I would have to deal with so soon. Your parents will pass, but at a later time in life, unfortunately for me, I had to deal with this now. Grieving and mourning my mother’s death during the beginning of the year and towards the end of the same year, I found some devastating information about being betrayed for years prior. This shook my core. I turned to try online therapy with BetterHelp.com; I don’t remember where exactly I had found out about this service, but my first therapist responded to my messages reasonably quickly, so we were messaging multiple times throughout the day. She had suggested couples therapy at one point, but it would be face-to-face because online wouldn’t work, and I went for two sessions. After the second session, this therapist wanted only to see me work on the loss of my mother and everything else. I only went to one session because my insurance changed the following year, and they didn’t accept it.

Last year in July, Lia’s father was arrested, another situation that took a toll on me. On top of his arrest, I started a new position at work and was an Office Manager, and this position was not a walk in the park. While this was going on, I also had school, and Lia started school also, and in the first week of school, Lia ended up catching lice from one of her classmates. I was slowly shutting down again. I decided to go back to the same therapist, but I only did two sessions out of the three that I was approved.

I started therapy in November, and I told myself I would continue this time around until I felt better. BetterHelp.com was the one I did again, and this therapist didn’t respond as quickly as my first therapist because she had her practice during the day that she had to go to. We started with messaging for the first two weeks, and then we did phone calls weekly for an hour. I told her my entire life – from the beginning until now. It took several weeks of course, because it was only an hour a day, weekly, but it felt amazing to let it all out finally, everything. She gave me exercises to work on when I would feel down and always reminded me to be kind to myself. She also told me she was surprised I wasn’t worse than I was with everything I had been through at such a young age. And now she understood why I said I felt sooooo much older than what I really am.

Since I had finished therapy about two weeks ago, I have felt so much better! I don’t have any mood swings anymore as I used to, and if I do feel down, I am now able to recognize what triggered it, unlike before where I just thought that I was a moody person, I always thought my drastic mood swings were a part of who I was. I’ve never in my life have felt like I do now. I genuinely believe that anyone who has been through some trauma or just needs anyone to talk to should try therapy. Honestly, you’re not crazy, and it helps! Therapy opened up my mind to many different things and connected the dots to many things I had questions about myself before. It was completely unbiased, I could open up to her completely, and I never felt judged. The first therapist you go to may not be the one for you but try another one, don’t give up on it because it really does help.

The great thing about BetterHelp is that you take a survey when you sign up for it, and they ask you what type of problems you’re going through and what you need help on. It also asks you what kind of therapist you would like to be assigned to and what specialty you would like for them to have. I had picked a Christian therapist, and I feel like they really connected me with the perfect therapist to help me with my issues. Its been a challenging journey for me, but with God, by my side, I was able to overcome all of them.

Thank you for taking the time to read my therapy journey, and I encourage everyone to seek help if they really need it or even if they don’t think they need it, just being able to let out your feelings to a professional and all you need is for them to listen, they will. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. ūüôā

50719282_675233959695_5048866298491043840_o

Categories
Blog

Spiritual Journey

For as long as I could remember I have always believed in God. God was mentioned in our household all the time. Although we didn’t go to church regularly, God was still there. I don’t remember ever going to church with my mom, but I do remember attending church with my dad. When my parent’s used to alternate weekends, my dad would take me on Sundays to a small church, and it was always packed with people, so we used to stay outside. I don’t remember how often we went, but I do remember going. After my parents separated and I moved in with my dad, my grandma, aunt, and uncle, I remember attending my grandma’s church. It was a Christian church, and I remember I didn’t like it because it took, what felt forever, for the service to finish. I did like that they had lemonade and cookies after service. We would attend, but not every single Sunday, and if they had like a celebration or a Christmas dinner, we would go. I briefly remember going to Sunday school a few time, but I felt like I never knew what they were talking about.

Once my dad remarried, and we moved in with my step-mom we starting attending the Catholic church. Most of my friends in elementary school were Mexicans, so they were Catholic. I remember one of them being so excited because she was going to do her first communion and her soul was going to be cleaned, again this was back in elementary school. I remember thinking, I want my soul to be cleaned too. My step-mom had asked my dad if I had been baptized, he told her no, she was shocked. To me baptism was something that had to be done, it was mandatory for all babies to be baptized. And it seemed like it was a big deal because my grandma used to make a lot of cakes for baptisms, but again I didn’t really understand what it was and why, all I knew was that they poured water on the babies heads and there were “Padrinos” or God-Parents, one male and one female.

My step-mom had asked me if I wanted to get baptized and I said yes, thinking that it was something mandatory. So, since I was 11 years old I got to pick my God-Parents, usually, babies are baptized so they don’t really have a say, but I had picked my uncle Carlitos and my step mom’s mother as my God-Parents. I did all the classes that I was supposed to do, I remember they were really boring because all they had us do was watch videos. And I was getting baptized and doing my first communion. Looking back I wish I understood more of what I was doing because I felt like no one really explained it to me.

I remember going on and off to the Catholic church and never really understanding the religion but I had no say. Once I turned 17 I started going to a Pentecostal church with my friend Cassy and her family. They had a lot of rules, the woman couldn’t wear jewelry, jeans/pants, and barely any make-up and some others that I cannot remember right now. I stopped going after a while and I moved to Florida in the Summer of 2012. I met this girl named Mia at school and she invited me to her church. The church was Christian nondenominational but it was at the movie theaters. They rented out the movie theaters on Sundays for service, which I thought was pretty cool. They were the nicest people ever! I remember the pastors, husband, and wife, took me out to lunch one day after church to get to know me better and they were just the sweetest couple I had ever met. I loved this church and I actually ended up giving my life to Jesus and getting saved at this church. I moved back to Michigan in December 2012 and I started attending Res Life Church. This church was huge but I enjoyed going, I didn’t want to get involved, I just enjoyed attending and receiving the message. I would attend this church with Cassy and her cousin Ralfi and we sometimes would go out to eat afterward.

I ended up moving to Florida again in February of 2014 to Miami but I never looked for a church to attend there, too much was going on at the time. Once I moved to Orlando I was told by Lia’s father that there was a church here as an extension to the church he grew up in the Dominican Republic, it had the same name and everything Luz y Vida, Hispanic Evangelic church. I attended this church faithfully every Sunday but again, never got too involved. It was also a small church. I don’t remember when exactly, but I was invited to Focal Point Church and I really enjoyed this church. The people were friendly, the vibe was nice, you didn’t feel any pressure. So, I was attending the Hispanic church and Focal Point Church, like alternating weeks. Until I stopped going to Luz y Vida all together. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2017 that I said I was going to fully devote myself to God, as in go to church every single Sunday, change the music I listened to, read the bible every day, pray every day, and stop socially drinking. In 2018, I started to attend growth group on Monday nights and I have met some pretty incredible ladies.

It has been 2 years since I decided to really live out the “Christian” life or as best as I can but I’ve never felt closer to God than I have been right now. I’m still attending church every Sunday, still attending growth group on Monday nights but now I’m also volunteering for the Rise Youth Ministry for middle and high schoolers. I am still reading The Bible every day, praying every morning and night, and sometimes throughout the day, I also started reading Our Daily Bread and still only listen to Christian/Positive music. Sometimes I’ll listen to other music but Chrisitan is the main one I listen to. I love the relationship I have with God right now and I just want to get closer to him.

Everyone has their own spiritual journey and sometimes things that happen in life might have someone shy away from God but he will pull us in and he will always be there ready to receive us whenever we seek for him.

Categories
Blog

Emptiness

On Friday night, March 11th I received the most terrifying news that any daughter or son could receive, that their mother has passed away. It took a while for my brain to process what my ears had heard but once it processed it felt like a brick hit my chest a thousand times and a part of me deep inside was ripped out. As soon as I had wrapped my head around the news this empty feeling hasn’t gone away for one second. My mother took a part of me when she left this earth. Luckily, I’m not alone in this grieving process. My parents, (dad and stepmom) have been extremely supportive, friends have sent their prayers and kind words, distance family members have reached out, and my husband was able to be by my side this weekend while I took care of everything. Minutes before the viewing I was feeling a mixture of emotions all at once, something that I had never felt before. It was anxiousness, nervousness, anger, sadness, and nausea all at once. A million thoughts were running through my head like a 5k ¬†marathon and I was extremely nervous about how I would react when I would see her for one last time. I also almost had a panic attack before I went in. When I saw my beautiful mother laying there peacefully I thought, “you’re finally at peace.” My poor mother was truly suffering in this world and God finally decided to call her home, a little sooner than I anticipated but he called her. Since, I heard the news not once did I question “why?” There is always a reason why but that doesn’t have to be known. I’m just relieved it was a peaceful death since she died in her sleep. Of course she will be extremely missed, everyday I’ll think of her and I’ll miss her. I just hope I can cope with this empty feeling inside, but I do know that God will give me strength and also that time heals all wounds.

I love you mommy.

Rest in heaven.

2016-03-16 02.17.19

Categories
Blog

Career Paths

How does one chooses what they want to do for the rest of their life? How does someone make such an important decision in their life? How do you know you picked the right career for you? I’ve heard people say, “choose something you love to do that way you don’t have to work a day in your life”. But to be honest there isn’t anything I was really passionate about and I don’t think I have a talent. So, how was I suppose to pick a career?

During elementary school we are always asked what we want to be when we grow up, kids always answer common careers like doctors, lawyers, policemen/woman, firefighters, or chef. Kids answer these common careers because they have no idea the thousands of career choices they actually have. Which is another thing, we have so many possibilities how can we choice just one? 

During high school we took an questionnaire to see what careers we would be good at based on our personalities, my results was air traffic controller. I told my parents that I was going to join the air force and be an air traffic controller. And everyone who asked if I knew what I wanted to do after I graduated I told them the same thing. Until my senior year of high school I started searching online about joining the air force and I had read that people who suffered from asthma couldn’t join. Well, there went my plans I was so sure about. Also, while I was working and my aunt’s hair salon one of her customers was telling me that air traffic controlling is a very stressful job and that you usually couldn’t retire from that profession. I started doing research on that too and it was true, air traffic controlling is one of the most stressful jobs out there. They even require them to take therapy as least once a year. Again, there went my plans. So, I graduated high school not knowing at all what I wanted to do.¬†

One day I was watching the movie Juno with my step-mom and during the scene where she was getting an ultra sound I was thinking, “maybe I could become an ultra sound tech.” My step-mom thought it was a great idea. I looked up information for the community college and there was a waiting list of about 2 years, so I gave up on that. In the fall after I graduated¬†I started KVCC as undecided, took general courses hoping that somehow I would just crash into what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It didn’t happen. I had talked with an academic adviser and she had me take another questionnaire to see what careers would be most interesting to me but none of the results interested me. I finished my freshman year of college and I still had no idea what I wanted to do. There went one year wasted. I went to Florida that summer and started at Palm Beach State College in the fall taking general courses. There I also looked into the ultra sound tech but they picked only a certain amount of students each year to begin the program and it always started in January, so you could only start in January. Towards the end of this semester in Florida I was looking at options back in Michigan for Medical Assisting programs because my friend did it in 9 months and started her job at 15 an hour. (She was one of the lucky few.) Well I thought the same would happen to me, it was a fast program and the money would be good.

I went back to Michigan to start the Medical Assisting program at the same school my friend went to and I also found a job at a law firm. I loved how the lawyers made their own schedules. They could come to the office if they wanted or they could work from home. One of the attorney’s was also an accountant and she had a separate office from the law firm. I started thinking about what careers are available where you are your own boss. Being a lawyer didn’t really interest me, but then I thought maybe I could be an accountant and have my own office. I did take accounting in high school and it was pretty easy. A lot of people told me accounting is boring but it didn’t matter to me, that’s what I wanted to do. Well a little surprise came and I got pregnant while still finishing my MA program.¬†

My husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) was telling me that even though I got pregnant that didn’t mean that I couldn’t get a degree. He had graduated that April with his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering. He was always telling me and asking me if I finally knew what I wanted to study and if I had taken the steps to find out what I needed to do to get started, because he didn’t want me to settle for just getting an MA certification. Well, I finished my MA program and that same school also had online classes for Associates Degrees in different health care areas. I am currently taking online classes towards my Associates Degree in Medical Billing Administrative Specialist. I was thinking that after I got my AS I could go a pursue my Bachelors in Healthcare Administration. But I still want to be my own boss.¬†

Recently a family member of mine went into rehab and I have found myself asking a lot of questions regarding their time in rehab and the other people who are in there with them. Also, I have just finished my intro to psychology class. The other day while I went to go visit my family member this young lady (just a little bit older than me) was walking into the center too. I had asked my family member who she was, they told me she was a student who was studying psychology and she came to observed a few days a week. That’s when I was thinking, maybe I could be psychologist and council people who are addicted to drugs or maybe even people who have mental health problems. I spoke to my cousin about this, she has a minor in psychology, and she told me if the intro classes was very interesting to me that I would definitely enjoy the other psychology classes as well. I am currently going to find out information regarding changing my career path because I finally think I have found exactly what I want to do. I will be able to be my own boss and I’ll be able to help people, which is something I have learned that I really like to do. I know it will be a lot of schooling but the time is going to past anyways, so why not put in the effort.¬†

I really hope this is the fit for me because I sometimes feel like I am just wasting time. I mean picking what you want to do in life is a big decision and you don’t want to pick the wrong career and then regret it later on in life. ¬† ¬†