Last week, I was pondering what I should write about on my next blog post. It is so easy to google ideas, copy others or even recreate a post someone else has done and try to make it your own. What I came to realize is you have to be unique and authentic. Write what speaks to you. Write what you would like to read. So, that is what I am doing today.

Growing up, I never struggled with some of the issues I struggle with today (I won’t go into all of them, just know that I do have my struggles) and I began listening to the lie in my head that something was wrong with me because I had fears and anxieties about things in life. I thought “I’m a Pentecostal woman, something is wrong with me for feeling the way I do sometimes.” I internalized a great deal of my problems because I was afraid that sharing them, even with the people closest to me, would make them think differently of me, or even see me as weak. I didn’t want that. However, I finally got to the point where I knew I would continue to feel alone, if I did not reach out and talk to someone. So, I decided to go all out, and I reached out to a few specific women in my life, who I viewed as role models. Women that I aspire to be like. Strong women. You know what I found out? Those women were not always strong. They had to go through some things that brought them to the place they are today. I never realized it until recently, but my testimony is being written right now. The struggles I face today will make me the woman I desire to be. I came to a realization that I want to share.

There is a misconception about Christians. That is, that just because you are filled with the Holy Spirit, does NOT mean that you won’t deal with fears, anxieties and depression. In fact, I believe that the devil will work OVERTIME on God fearing people because of the threat they are to his kingdom. It is hard to type that because I don’t want people to misread what I’m trying to say.  No, I do not believe that Holy Ghost filled individuals should give in to those emotions and sentiments. They have a release and help that unbelievers do not know or understand, and that is prayer.  However, just because you are a Christian, does not mean that you will never face trials, hardships, emotions, doubts, fears… what is DOES mean is that you have a way out. You have the greatest ‘therapist’ and helper ready to come to your aid any moment you speak His name.  He can do what no other can.

In many of my prayers, I have said, “God, I feel really miserable right now. How is anything good going to come of this?” And then I am reminded of a quote that says: “That ugly part of your story you’re living through right now is gonna be one of the most powerful parts of your testimony someday.” God might just use me, as he has used women in my life, as a conduit to show just how powerful He is. To anyone who may read this post, I want to share with you something that somebody told me just the other day. And that is this: “God would not continue to put you through situations, if He knew you couldn’t do it. So, if God says you can, who are you to say that you can’t?” This spoke to me. I’m thankful for strong people who can help me be strong.

As I mentioned before, I reached out to some women, and then went as far as to post a story on social media asking anyone who would want to share their testimony with me, for this very post, to do it. I may make another continuing post for the ones I am not including today.

 

 

“Struggles

I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be. Ive made my own share of mistakes, and I’ve hurt people i love along the way. Just like everyone else, I have regrets and things im not proud of. There have been times in my life that I’ve felt like I wasn’t enough. I didn’t see myself as worthy of all the things that God was doing for me. I was trying to open doors that God never intended to be opened. There was a point in my life where i tried so hard to avoid and hate a person i love and because of that, i began to start hating myself and who i was now becoming. I gave everyone around me attitude and began to develop horrible character towards people. I remember one night during a sermon i was hearing; the preacher spoke about “how can you have the love of God if you don’t love your neighbor?… its not possible!” That stuck with me and lingered in my mind. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy to let go of all the frustration i felt inside for months towards this person. It all was very hindering to me; i was in this still zone spiritually not being able to advance in my walk with God all because i was hurt and felt resentment towards this person. I began to take action, through prayer and reading the word of the Lord and seeking advice from the wise. God began to work on me and i was seeing the entire situation with new eyes. I was learning to love myself more and more everyday. I was able to let go of the past and i realized that going through the pain and the tears etc. was so worth it because I began to connect with my brother and build a relationship with him that we never had as kids.

My best friend is my brother. No one had ever been so rude and so kind to me all at once lol. God has so much in store for each and every single one of his children. He will never not take care of his children. And for that I’m thankful that he didn’t stop reaching for me even though i did neglect him. You can never go wrong following the path that the Lord has made for you, for it is the best one.” –  Anonymous

 “When I was 11, my aunt invited me to a church camp.  It was there that I really felt God for the first time.  I knew I wanted what all these other preteen/ teenagers had.  I finally received the Holyghost on one of the nights.  When I came home from camp, I was on fire.  This made my mom realize she really needed to get in church.  With my mom and I both in church, life was going good.  Then, I entered my teen years.  I struggled constantly with peer pressure.  I didn’t want to look different and wanted to be involved in things everyone else was involved with.  In my later teen years, the world was really pulling me.  I had decided I really didn’t want to be in church anymore.  The only reason I was still attending church and playing the part was because of my mom.  With my dad and other siblings not in church, I really didn’t want to let my mom down or become sad.  I began to feel like I was living a double life.  I still felt God on Sundays, but the world’s pull Monday – Saturday was strong.  I got married in the church in my early 20’s.  Within the first year of our marriage, my husband had a big career change which had us moving to a different city and going to a different church.  We now had no accountability.  With my husband working crazy hours, I attended church many times alone.  I also felt so alone.  We struggled spiritually and struggled within our marriage.  Both of our desires to live for God was fading fast.  About 8 months later, I was very surprised to find out I was pregnant.  God knew!  If it wasn’t for our son, I really don’t know if my husband and I would be together today.  While at a church service alone, I looked at my son, and it was then I realized I needed to get my life back on track with God.  I knew if I were to leave God and the church, my son would probably never attend church in the future.  I finally had a breakthrough, and eventually my husband did too.  We now serve in our church and work in the ministry.  There is no greater feeling than seeing my babies raise their hands with tears running down their little cheeks praising God!” -Tavia Felty

“My Testimony:

I grew up at being catholic and yes I would go to church every Sunday, volunteered, even went to a youth group but somehow I was still lost in the world. I knew there was a God but I didn’t know him like I do now. It all started with our son when he was 4. Somehow I found a Christian school and managed to enroll him. And because of my son’s faith and love towards God we all got saved as a family. It’s been 3 amazing years. I even became a teacher at his school and never been happier. The 3 of us serve at our church and we absolutely love it! Walking with the Lord has been the best decision I’ve ever made. Now I can say I am truly happy and in a very good place.” -Monserrat Alvarado Martinez

I’ve always struggled with self-confidence and feeling as if I am not good enough for anybody, especially a good enough Christian to work in the kingdom of God. I faced a lot of low self-esteem issues, and allowed it to control me. I was raised in church, but backslid in my heart for a long time when I was a teenager. Because I got involved in the wrong group of people and my friends were not good influences on me. They did not help me see my value in anyway. Honestly, I’ve come to find it you can only truly see your value, in God.  I began seeking attention from men and trying to find my value there and feeling that if I was accepted by them and valued by them then I was worth something. but that only destroyed me more. I remember sitting on a pew in church and feeling so small, that I’ve done too much bad for God to ever use me. I had so many thoughts and lies in my head that the devil was putting there. I remember going through a season where I was so tempted with so many things all at once and it was so strong upon me. I realize then that the world is really getting to me, if I wasn’t strong I would lose out. I would mess up, and then I wouldn’t be able to pray because I felt so unworthy. Then, one day I prayed through and started to get my life on track again. When I started living right, it seemed to only get worse for me, as far as lies in my head. I thought “I’m forgiven, I’m living right again, why am I feeling this way?” Then I realized I was going to do something great for the kingdom of God, and so the devil is fighting me the hardest. Harder than he was even fighting me before when I was in the world.  I had a lot of counseling, I talked to a lot of people in leadership who prayed for me. And with time, I began replacing the lies in my head with prayers and scriptures. That would be my advice to anyone out there dealing with similar problems. Fill your mind with scripture. It will be the biggest help. And remember that the devil will fight you hardest when you are doing GOOD things for Gods kingdom!”  Anonymous

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