What matters most…

I just got done reading the Beatitudes tonight and I would like to share my thoughts with you about them.

Before now, I always saw the Beatitudes as a beautiful, yet contradictory poem. The words in themselves are lovely, but I could never really understand how one could be “blessed” in the midst of a lot of bad situations. I found it especially hard to understand how one could be happy when they’re persecuted, talked bad about, and made fun of.

But tonight, before I read, I ask the Holy Spirit to teach me and I learned something that I didn’t see before.

I let myself ask those questions that I didn’t dare asked before because, “How dare I question, God…” but I mean, I really wanted to know…

I sat and wondered about all of the people who read that passage before me and actually found comfort in those “contradictions”.

 

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Photo by Olivia Snow on Unsplash.

 

Then I realized:

The Beatitudes are about trusting in God when we are feeling mistreated by other people. But instead of lashing out at the people who hurt us we trust in God. We trust Him with the circumstance, with the hurtful emotions they cause us, and when we are so weak to the point that we can’t even find the strength to forgive somebody who could be so mean. We turn to God and ask Him to give us the courage to forgive so that we can let go of the pain. This is what being humble looks like, and it gives room for us to be kind in return.

I was like, “wow… when we’re nice in a situation where we’re treated poorly, God shows us mercy because we are being merciful… and He will satisfy our cry for justice… I mean.. can you imagine the amount of suffering people who are able to make it through the day with a smile on their face because they CHOSE to trust GOD and LOVE when unforgiveness was the other option?”

It’s so easy to hold on the hurt. But in the end you’re only hurting yourself when you don’t let that go…

This made me really think about my reality as a Christian. How God wants us to love Him and love other people too. But somewhere in the Bible, it says that we can’t love God if we hate our brothers and sisters. I mean, God knows we can’t see Him, so how could we love someone we can’t see if we mistreat the humans that we can love with our words and actions (1 John 4:20)?

I really got to thinking and asked myself… “Rosa? What matters most?” And I came to the conclusion that what matters most is that we love God, and love one another. What matters most is how we treat each other. In the end, it’s all about being kind in a cruel world. Choosing the love of Christ which goes against the grain of what is emotionally acceptable. Because I mean, Jesus saw how much of a hard person I am to live with, but he still loved me. So why can’t I do that for Jesus, and love my neighbor too?

That’s what matters most…

Dancing with Jesus

The growing pains of a transitioning season is never easy. Especially when you have a tendency to be so hard on yourself. I constantly tell myself I need to be better, I need to try harder, I need to– let go. It’s so frustrating to think that you’re making progress but you only feel like you’re taking two steps back, a step to the side, and another one forward– and then it becomes a dance.

“What am I doing?”

Here I am dancing with the Lord.

I don’t know how to dance at all really. Rhythm is not something I inherited. I’m awkward and clumsy. You’d think that being Puerto Rican, I should know how to just feel the music.

“How do you keep time? This is so unnatural to me. I feel incompetent.

What? What am I doing?”

As the music begins to play, I freeze— I try to analyze the components of the song– but Jesus takes me in his arms and wraps one arm around my waist, taking my other hand in his and says, “Follow me.”

“Jesus I don’t know the steps! I’m so lost! Slow down! What are you doing? Help me!”

“Relax.” He says, “Trust me and follow my lead.”

I’m in tears as I feel so embarrassed for every step that crushes His toes, for messing up, not keeping the beat. I’m a clutz. I begin to whine, “Jesus, I can’t do this. I’m a failure.”

“Child, My grace is sufficient for you. Let’s keep going.”

The song continues, the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard. Accompanied by an orchestra of love that harmonizes with compassion, gentleness, understanding and grace. I look up at my Savior with eyes full of awe and wonder as He sweeps me off my feet. Satisfied with myself I begin to think, “hey, I’m beginning to get the hang of this!” Aware of my progress, He adds in a new move, but I’m completely thrown off again! “Whoa, God, slow down! I can’t keep up!”

“I’ve got you”, He says.

The tears start rolling as I weep into His shoulders. The sweet scent of His aroma fills my nostrils and pours into my heart as He holds me close to His. He comforts me in His embrace with every step we take. Not once does He rebuke me, but He takes the time to teach me gently. Letting me know that it’s okay. It’s okay not to know how to dance.

It’s okay to not be the best, it’s okay to be myself. It’s okay to be clumsy and make mistakes. Just as long as I keep on dancing with Him. As long as I stop trying so hard to do things by my own strength, as long as I just trust Him.

“Relax.” He says, “And let My Spirit flow through you. Confide in me and I will teach you. What you don’t know is that I’m preparing you to teach others how to dance too.”

 This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who draws strength from mere flesh
    and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
    they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
    in a salt land where no one lives.

 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:5-8

Other Side of The Fence

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Photo by Micah. H on Unsplash.

Where has the time gone? Just three years ago I graduated from high school, and here I am, in the very place that I tried so hard to run away from. I’ve always been a quiet child with a loud mind. Fearful yet vengeful, waiting for the opportunity to escape and leave behind this Godforsaken place, or so I thought.

It wasn’t until Junior year that I met the girl who would help me come out of my shell. A tough, feminine outspoken girl with long beautiful raven tresses that flowed down her back. She didn’t take crap from anyone, yet deep down, she was soft to the core. I needed a friend, and she needed me. Her friendship seemed promising, but the truth is, I wanted to be just like her.

At first our fun was innocent enough. We shared four out of six classes together and began to take our homework back to her house. I got to meet her family, and her family met my dad and brother. Hers is a family of mostly women, and they seemed like the sisters I never had. Loud, rambunctious, and crazy; a great difference from my quiet home. Her family always made their own fun and I enjoyed every moment. We laughed, we danced, we played in the rain and we flirted with boys. We gossiped, we swore, we made our own parties, and later we went to church. It was all in fun. All of it was just harmless, innocent fun.

I remember to this day, how sad I felt when she had so many offers to prom and I had none. I felt like I wasn’t pretty enough but it’s actually kind of funny because, I remember how she genuinely tried to help me get a date. I never got my prince charming that night in Paris, but we still had “fun” dirty dancing with our own little group. Then later that night we went back to her house and started to drink. I can’t really tell you what happened because my memory fails me. Graduation day was the best day of all. We got ready together, took lots of pictures and remembered the good times we shared during the past two years. That night was a repeat of prom. We went back to another friend’s house and celebrated our graduation. If I remember correctly that night after we had our fun, we stayed the night at her sisters house and got high. I can tell you that even though we were all giggles and the room was spinning, I didn’t like that feeling much at all; but it was K2 and we were curious and nobody else had to know. I can tell you this, the head aches the next morning were not as “fun” as the night before.

Then summer time came, and my dad and brother went off to Costa Rica. They were preaching the gospel while I kept on sinning. My friend and I just got deeper into our antics. I got sick and ended up in the hospital. She was there for me for the time being, but I was scared for my life and thought that God hated me. Hypochondria set in and I felt disgusting. “Who would love me now?” But it was all just a lie from the enemy, a trap that he caught me in. A few days passed by and I just wanted to go back home. So her mom took me back to my dad’s empty apartment. No one else was home. I was all alone. I was scared out of my mind, so I drank half a bottle of NyQuil and went to sleep. The dreams I had were crazy, and the hallucinations became so real! I woke up screaming “God, I’m so sorry! Make all of this go away!” but God was quiet while I reaped what I had sown.

I remember that same summer my friend got pregnant, and I walked in on her the day it happened. They were in complete disregard to my presence, so I got what I needed and ran out of the room. I was embarrassed by what I saw, but how could I be when I was just like her. After she found out that she had conceived, she was scared and didn’t know what to do. The options were before her and abortion seemed like the only way out. I didn’t agree with that decision but I was fogged by my sins and just wanted her to be okay. She was there for me and the least I could do was be there for her. I helped her call all the clinics near by, but all the offices were too far away or too expensive, and she was ashamed to get a grant for help. Now as I think back, I thank God nothing happened to her beautiful baby girl because while I was there in the room as she gave birth, I saw the miracle of life being born. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I held that little one in my arms. To this day my heart goes out to her as they both appear in my dreams; it’s the only way I can see that beautiful little baby.

A few months passed by, and the unimaginable occurred. I opened up my bible and fell to my knees, giving my heart back to the Lord. The cross finally clicked for me; I didn’t have to keep living this way anymore! I texted her after it happened and told her that everything’s going to be okay! Jesus found me, and I’m not going to suffer anymore! At the moment she was happy for me, but time moved on steadily. I began to read my bible everyday, and began to see the error of my ways. Jesus wanted me to walk away from her….

I said, “Jesus how could I? She’s my friend! She’s been there for me and she knows things about me that no one else knows!” I tried to share my new relationship with Christ with her, but she just wouldn’t have it. She said, “Ever since you started all that church stuff, you don’t want to hang out anymore.” and Jesus just kept telling me, “My love, just let her go.”

For a while I felt guilty, like I was abandoning her. I thought about her baby and thought how much I’d miss that little girl. I returned to Costa Rica in June 2013 and Jesus showed me great and awesome things. I met people who love the Lord with all their heart; their lives were different and the youth were on fire! When I came back to Florida that late July, I brought her baby a pair of authentic booties and told her about all the amazing things that God was doing in my life. Her response was that she loves God in her own way, but she was happy for me. However, later I’d receive a slap to the face. She threw my past back at me in the summer of 2014 while I was away in Costa Rica. Her message read, “Do you really think your new little Christian friends will accept you if they knew what I do? No one is ever going to accept you if they did. You’re a horrible friend and worthless piece of sh**! I don’t need your prayers, and I don’t need you!” All I could say was, “I’m sorry that you feel that way, but Jesus comes first. I love you and that won’t ever change. If you ever need a sister in Christ, I’m here for you. Please, don’t forget that.”

It really hurt– I’m not going to lie, to let her go, but Jesus knew the condition of her heart as He kept showing me that “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

The bible says, “do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them, I will be their God, and they shall be My people” therefore “come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.(2 Corinthians 6:14-18)”

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to induldge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:17-24)”

You see, my life with her was only for a season. A season that God permitted to turn my rebellion around for the purpose of His plan for my life. If I were to say that I miss her, then that would mean I miss the times we had. Now that I know better, all those times we had are only just memories. Yet, I don’t fault her for what she threw in my face because I know that it was just the enemy speaking through her. However, I can say that I love her, but sometimes it’s best to love from a distance. In this time I’m on the other side of the fence and I thank God for bringing me here. If I were to cross the fence to try to get back to her, then I would be in dangerous territory and out of the will of God, making me an open target for the enemy to lure me back into deeper and worse sins than before. I pray for this young woman who used to be my friend and I hope with all of my heart that one day she’ll come to know the same love that changed my life. The love of Jesus Christ.

I thank you Jesus, so much for your love, mercy and your grace. You brought me out of a dark place! Never let me forget from where you delivered me so that I can always be humble and help those who are on the fence with their lives. I thank you for giving me back my virtue and purity, for showing me my worth and how loved I am by You. I ask you Father to show all of your daughters that they are your special flowers. They are Your roses of Sharon; lilies among thorns in a world that displays evil as good. I thank you Jesus for showing me that no friend is worth the expense of the cross and my eternal life with you. I bless your name, Jesus and I bless the life of the one who is reading this. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Disclaimer: I am not a scholar or a theologian. I am just a repentant sinner who has a relationship with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

A Vulnerable Heart Can Be Strong Too

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Photo by Chad Kirchoff on Unsplash.

Ya know something? Sometimes being vulnerable is okay. It’s okay to be soft, and its okay to not understand what’s going on. It’s okay not to have everything under control, especially when your circumstances contradict God’s promises for your life; when everything else seems at a loss– If you’re in God’s will, it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be turned around for your good (Romans 8:28-29).

I’m learning that vulnerability is a sign of a softened heart towards God in a hardened world. When we turn to God, he gives us a new heart by turning our heart of stone into a heart of flesh so that we may hear his voice and follow his directions (Ezekiel 36:26). He puts us in situations that will test our faith, so that we will see how much we trust him! The bible says that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and when perseverance finishes its work in us, we will be mature and complete lacking in nothing. So if we persevere in our faith, having stood the test, we will receive a crown of life that the Lord promises to those who love him (James 1:2-4, 12).

So because I love God and am his child, called according to his purpose, I know that he will turn everything around for my good. What he began in my life he will finish it!

So then, considering it pure joy I undergo these trials! Joy is something completely different than what is known as happiness. The bible says that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Joy rises above the circumstances, it gives strength to our bones and gives us a reason to smile because we know that God is in control. Joy is faith in God knowing that even though the roof of my house may be crumbling to pieces, I know, that I know, that I know that God will provide. Happiness on the other hand is fleeting and it is easily influenced by our current situations. It’s so easy to give in to the hopelessness that may surround us at the moment, but the eyes of faith see the Light of Christ farther up ahead. For though “My flesh and my heart may fail, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26). 

Furthermore, I’ve been meditating on how godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). At a time when false teachers were rampant, distorting the sound doctrine of Jesus Christ for the profit of their personal financial gain, Paul wrote to Timothy to hold fast to the faith! Contentment is defined as ‘a state of satisfaction’ and our godliness is found in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. The word of God gives us hope in knowing that whatever we go through now doesn’t compare to the eternal joy that awaits us in heaven. If we hold fast to the truth, and understand that we didn’t bring anything into this world and we can’t take anything it out of it, we will learn to be thankful to God for all of our blessings, even if they are just food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:3-12).

“For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what is is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:11-13).”

So if I persevere in my faith by holding fast to the sound truth in Jesus and if I seek godliness and contentment in the Lord but my heart is still uneasy– I think to myself, “what am I still lacking? What else do I need to do? Why is my heart still troubled?”

I have to tell you that I reread 1 John 3:19-24 a few times to understand the root of my problem. I like the NET translation when it says in verse 20, “Even if we feel guilty, we know that God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.” This guilt, or condemnation that makes our hearts feel so uneasy does not come from the Lord but it comes from our sin when we fail to trust in him (Romans 8:1-4). When we really trust in Jesus “we don’t feel guilty and we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.” The only thing that God asks from us in our vulnerability is to believe in the name of his Son Jesus and to love one another (verse 23). Maybe now you can see why I had to reread it a few times… There is nothing I can do but accept God’s grace! I only need to let go and believe that God knows what he’s doing and that he will do the impossible in his perfect timing (Luke 18:27).

I chuckle to myself when I think of how much of a knucklehead I am when Jesus so patiently reminds me again and again by whispering into my spirit that he’s got it all under control. I can’t tell you how many times he’s told me, “Now you don’t realize what I am doing, but later you will (John 13:7).” And I’m like, “haha okay Jesus, you know!

This is when I take a deep sigh and say to the Lord, “Okay God, I surrender. As long as I’m vulnerable and walking in your will I’m safe in your hands. Lord Jesus, forgive me for my sins of not trusting you; take up my heavy load as I yoke myself to you. Fill me with your joy so that I may be strong as I continue to take up my cross and follow you. You are my guide Lord, and the journey isn’t over yet. It’s all going to be okay even if it doesn’t seem that way right now. I will be still in my soul knowing that you are God, able to do the impossible. I love you so much Jesus, and thank you for your patience with me. Glorify yourself in my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”

Mmm What’s Cookin’?

 

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Photo by Teddy Kelley on Unsplash.

I would like to share with you a wise old saying that my dad frequently says:

“Solo el cocinero sabe lo que hay en la olla.” Translation: “Only the cook knows what’s in the pot.”

So much truth!

In this digital age it’s so easy to share our lives away with one click. A ‘like’ is golden and the perfect filter masks reality. This makes it so easy for anyone to share their good times on social media. Those times when everyone always looks so hunky-dory in their photo albums and videos, with their big ol’ happy family, full of great times and fun activities. But who’s to say what the life of that family is really like behind closed doors? Who’s to say what hard times they might be facing? Who’s to say that everything is okay? And who’s to say that that smiling individual surrounded by loved ones isn’t suffering internally?

It’s so easy to assume that everyone else has a better life than you when you start comparing your life to what you assume is the perfect life of another. It’s so easy to judge what you don’t understand, when in reality you don’t know the struggle that might be building up behind the walls of that family or individual that are being broken down… Where are you when they close the door, lock up their homes, shut the curtains and go to bed? Do you feel the tension released once strained smiles turn into flying fists and insulting shouts? Do you see the hidden tears of the one who cries them self to sleep? Honestly, sometimes I ask myself, “If walls, pillows and blankets could talk, what untold stories could they reveal?”

It’s taken me a while to learn this, and to understand the sin of coveting. I’ve had to ask God for forgiveness many times when I see people who look so happy that I desire a relationship, family, friends (or insert whatever else) like theirs, and then I’m so surprised to I find out that it all fell apart a short time later.

I’ve been there, I get it. I do it too. We only want people to see as much as we let them; but not everything that glitters is gold.

Only God knows the struggle each of us fights every day. Everyone’s fight is different, and everyone is vulnerable to some extent. Some are better at hiding their pain than others, but we’re all fighting something.

There are those who fight all their life, get tired of the fight and quit. There are others who are surrounded, trying to seek help to no avail but choose to keep going no matter how tired they feel. They’re the ones who are changed by the fight. They might choose to use the fight as leverage to push through the opposition the best way they know how but in the end become hardened. And there are the other fighters who end up taking sides with the opposition, becoming the very thing they were fighting against. Then there are those who fight with Jesus on their side.

My God, I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve been beat up, slung down, sucker punched, broken and bruised again and again. I went through depression, self hate, I attempted to self-harm a few times and even contemplated suicide. I was always the one that my friends went to for advice, but I never had anyone to really pour out my heart to. I would bottle it all up inside because I felt that no one cared or that I would only burden those I love. I felt that no one would really understand. So those times, at night when I was blanketed by the darkness of my room, I let it all out. There were so many times that I literally kicked and screamed into my pillow and would pass out from the pain in my heart. Sleep was my best friend, and the morning would be a sour welcome.

You’d probably be surprised to know that all this continued even after I came to know Jesus.

I’ve found that in the midst of my fight I felt like I would never get to the other side. I thought of myself to be the weakest, most pathetic excuse for a human being. No one was there to love me the way I needed, to hear me out, or comfort me. I really do know what it means to “feel” lonely.

It wasn’t until I started to find refuge in the Word of God that I felt like someone really understood me for the first time. David’s prayer in Psalms 25 couldn’t have expressed my feelings better when he cried out to God saying,

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.”

Then the Lord would surprise me when he’d reply to my mourning with something like this:

“He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him, as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:9-14).

I’d find pure tenderness in the words of Jesus inviting me to come closer to him with promises of relief saying,

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I found strength to soar above it all with wings like eagles in Isaiah 40:31. As I began to trust God more and more, his grace through Jesus Christ became my backbone (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). I gained confidence in knowing that nothing could tear me away from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39), and I learned that though the blood of Jesus is priceless, he liberally poured it all out for my sake (1 Peter 1:18-20, Romans 5:6-8).

Now I’m confident that I’m not alone when I cry- because I still do- cry that is. But I cry in the presence of God. When no one else is around to love on me, I pour out my heart to him. I feel when his presence begins to manifest itself within the privacy of my bedroom, into the warmest embrace I could ever receive from anyone. When I talk to God, I tell him everything! Just like I would tell anyone of my girl friends; He hears me. I know he does because “I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live (Psalm 116:1-2)…

My friends, it truly hurts me to see when others are suffering. It hurts me to see when people post happy pictures, but the next minute they’re statuses are contradicting. It hurts me to look into the eyes of someone who is silently miserable but they’re trying to hold it together with their own feeble human strength. If it hurts me, imagine how Jesus must feel when he sees it.. Because of that, I no longer covet what other people have, neither do I judge based on their successes or failures, because only the cook knows what’s in the pot…

I want anyone to know, that if they are reading this that there is SomeOne who loves you far more than you could ever humanly comprehend. There is hope in Jesus for whatever it is that you may be going through. He will bring you through the tough times, because he is faithful even when we stubbornly try to take care of things on our own. Don’t push him away, give him a chance. Let his grace flow through your life. If you do know him, remember to praise him when things are good! And when you see others who are low, instead of pointing fingers, lift them up because you were once in the same position or may find yourself there along the way too.

Letter to Mom

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash.

About a month ago my mom started to call saying that she wanted to see me again. To me this totally came out of left field. Like, where does she get the audacity to walk out of my life and all of a sudden decide five years later that she wants back in??Obviously that’s unfair! She caused so much damage when she left. I had to become a woman on my own and she didn’t do her job as a mother. However, God used this to show me that I still have an open wound where my heart needs mending.

On my flight back from Puerto Rico, I started to think about her and all the love poured into my heart by God during that week. God used my aunt as such a blessing; she was a sweet example of how a woman of God should be. She is just so loving, affectionate, compassionate, caring, understanding, faithful and positive… At that moment I was filled with longing to know my mom, the strong woman of faith that she once was and that I knew she could be again. I felt in my heart the strong need to write her a letter. So I asked the Holy Spirit to give me the right words; words of love.

For whatever reason, during the whole week I was gone, my mom was desperate to talk to me. I know that in her mind, she is sick, and she could invent anything to say that I don’t love her or want to talk to her. Dealing with people who are bipolar are a sensitive case, I didn’t want to stir the pot and God knows that I do love her. All those crazy things she comes up with in her head are not true. So when I finally settled back home, I felt all the more reason to write her the letter.

As I composed the letter I thought about the consequences of her decisions. She left our home out of anger against God and decided to pursue whatever the “H-E-double-hockey-sticks” she wanted to (her words). Now she’s living in poverty, has poor health and is barely making ends meet! I thought of the way she broke my dad’s heart, and of the way she led me to believe that I could find whatever I wanted outside of God too. When she left, our home split, and our whole family fell into rebellion. The only one who wasn’t completely affected by her departure was my little brother because he was a baby; but still, he never got to really know our mom. Then I began to imagine the way she must be suffering now, as she is all alone trying to reach out to her only daughter…

So I poured out my heart to her when I wrote, “Dear Mom, …I would like to have a relationship with you but I have come to realize something: I’m not ready, and neither are you. God’s timing and God’s plans are perfect. He does not desire for neither you nor I to suffer or to be hurt. He desires for both of our hearts to be healed. He desires for each of us to have a personal relationship with Him. Only when we choose to live to serve Him do we have perfect peace. Peace of mind. When we live completely for Jesus, we feel truly fulfilled.

You and I are not at the same place in life right now. I want to remind you that I love you. The whole purpose of this letter is to express my love to you. But I cannot be close to you if you are not personally close to God. You have to want to seek help. You have to want to get better. You have to want to let go. You have to forgive yourself by accepting God’s forgiveness for you at the cross, through His son Jesus. Only then, if and when you are well – and the fruits of repentance are shown in you, will I be willing to open up to you…”

I waited before I sent the letter. I waited for the Lord’s say so. This might sound silly, but this was the best way I knew it was the right time to send the letter. I asked God for a sign the night I wrote it. The next day,Thursday, I had class in the morning and I reminded him again saying, “God, you know the day this letter needs to get to my mom’s hands. Send me a sign. If you want me to send the letter today, send a bird to land and fly by in front of me, if tomorrow, send a bird to my right, and if next week, send it to my left.

No bird came.

That weekend my dad took us kids to the beach and when I came back to class on Monday I asked God for the same thing. As I headed to class a random bird swooped down in front of me from my right and flew to my left! I said, “God! Was that you? Confirm to me if this is what you want.” So when class was over I made my way to the parking lot and four other birds swooped down from my right to my left!

If you didn’t know, the number five means grace! So I said, “Ok God, I’ll send it tomorrow. It’s out of my hands and I surrender it all to you.”

This past weekend my mom received the letter and she was less than delighted but God used my dad to reaffirm my love and the Lord’s love for her. I haven’t heard from her today. I’m just praying, waiting and hoping in my Lord Jesus for him to fulfill his promises to me concerning my mom. I know that this letter will be the beginning of her healing and restoration. She will be well again and I will have my mom back in Jesus’ name.