As for my God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. ~Psalms 18:30-32
It is this scripture that reflects my life, from the very beginning. We know from the scriptures that God created the universe and both man and woman in the beginning. Many of us know the story and how it went in Genesis 1 and 2, but who really knows the story of our lives from the very beginning? It has been on my heart for quite some time now to share the story of my life with many others in hopes that it can help other women not feel alone and in the hopes that it can inspire faith that although we can go through difficult times in our lives, there is always hope because our refuge and our rock is always there and never leaves our side-Our God, Our Father, Our Creator.
I was born in Newark, NJ to some amazing parents. I love my parents. They aren’t perfect and they love me with all their heart-both these things make them amazing. My parents instilled in me faith in God. I grew up going to church every Sunday. It would be rare if we ever missed Sunday mass. Sure, when I was little I didn’t understand much about God but I knew enough at that point to know that He was real and he was my Father. I knew that he wanted the best for me and I knew the He wanted me to be a good girl, to do the best I could in all I did. My parents wanted this for me too. They made sure they provided everything I needed even when times were tough financially. I will always be grateful for them.
Well, being a good girl is what I was most of my life. I never tried drugs, I always worked at my hardest in school. My parents put me in Jazz, Tap Dance, Gymnastics, and I even learned to play the violin one year. I went to both public and private schools. Moving down to Miami at the age of 14 was tough. I had a best friend which I was going to miss. I had my very first boyfriend, who was more than anything a great friend to me…our dating relationship was so innocent. I had a dog that had to be given to new owners and I had to leave a school that I was becoming very fond of. I had to leave the friends I grew up with and that were like family to me. This was hard on a teenage girl! Nevertheless I moved on and in time adjusted to my new life.
I worked hard in my new high school, taking on all honors classes and one AP class. I got involved in clubs, in community service and in the NJROTC and graduated in the top 20 percent of my class. You could say I was a model daughter and student. I was accepted into FIU and began college practically right after graduating high school.
This is where my new spiritual life began. I met some great women who helped me learn how to have a deep, close and very personal relationship with God. They helped to reinforce the foundations of faith I already had and through the scriptures helped me to really understand the Cross and God’s purpose for my life.
The four years I had in the campus ministry were some of the best in my life! This is where I grew stronger in my faith as the years went on. I was also involved in helping many other women learn about God. I had a great relationship for 2 years with my college sweetheart, a man of God as well who looked out for my purity and respected me in ways that no man up to that point had ever done. I will always be thankful for that. Though things did not work out with us, we remained friends. The breakup was hard though. This is the first time I had a broken heart. A real broken heart. I loved him dearly, he was my best friend. But I learned that sometimes the people we think were meant for us, are really not. I learned that God had another plan for my life and through this plan I would grow in ways that I never thought possible.
Shortly after my breakup a friendship started between myself and the man who would become my husband. He was a very spiritual man, a man who loved God. I learned much from him as we grew in our friendship. We dated and 5 months into our dating relationship I fell in love with him. We got engaged a year into our dating relationship and were married four months after he proposed.
I was excited! I was going to marry a Christian man who loved me very much and I was going to live happily ever after! Wow! I almost could not believe it.
Well, that happily ever after didn’t really happen. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I was pretty happy for the 7 years that we were married, but something happened during our marriage that eventually led to a faith that grew weak and then practically non-existent.
We both left God. We both left our church. We both left our friends whom we grew to love all those years. We tried working out our marriage on our own. We thought we were pretty good at it and didn’t need much help. We were both VERY wrong.
Two years after walking away from God he decided he didn’t want to be married anymore. He wanted to be free of any types of commitments. He swore he still loved me and that it wasn’t my fault. He said he was conflicted about this decision but thought it would be the best one for him. When he told me this my heart fell to the floor. All I heard was that he didn’t want to be married to ME. Even though that ‘s not what he said. I thought “What did I do wrong, or what could I have done better?” I was blaming myself and what came over me was such a feeling of insecurity that I had never, ever experienced in my life.
I asked myself and I asked God: What happened? Didn’t I do things the right way? I lived a pretty good life, I repented of my sins (mostly character sins) and was baptized. I lived for God\’s purpose in my life. I was a good wife. I cooked and cleaned every day and I worked full time and was a full time mom. I loved my children and I put my husband first above all the rest. Where did I go wrong? What happened to my fairy tale? Why didn’t things turn out the way I thought they would.
I was going to grow old with this man that God gave me, we were going to watch our boys graduate and get married, together, as a married couple celebrating at least 50 years or more of marriage. All of a sudden my dreams were shattered. So what happens next? I asked myself. I cried countless nights and even though I grew apart from God, something in my heart told me He didn’t grow apart from me, so I even prayed in desperation and cried out “Why?” What was next for my life?
I wish I could say that at that moment I decided to come back to God and to my church to the people that I had once grown to love, my good friends. Sadly, I didn’t.
Instead, to heal my broken heart and to try and fill in the empty void that the divorce had left, I tried to seek someone else, another man to make me feel loved again. Special. Wanted. Needed. Desired. Beautiful. I searched and searched for 2 years but never found it.
What was the problem? Wasn’t I attractive enough? Didn’t I have much to offer? Why did things always end the same with each relationship? Instead of dealing with my heart and letting it heal, I tried to distract it but each attempt only left me more empty.
One day I woke up. Actually God woke me up. I had seen what I had become, the senseless search to fill in the void that only God himself could fill. God had opened my eyes and I was broken. This time, I was broken about my sin and the way I kept trying to do things “my way”, when God was always there trying to guide my path. I would always veer toward another path, the path that seemed right to me. (Proverbs 14:12), but in the end it was the wrong path.
I knew I wanted to go back on the right path and I wanted to fall in love with Jesus in a way that I never had before. I was broken. I was so humbled. What really brought me to tears was knowing that despite all I had done, all the wrong decisions I had made, God was always there, he never left me. He waited until I returned, like the prodigal son returned to his father, returned to his home (Luke 15:11-32), I returned to mine.
From this moment on and until this day, my path had been so much better than I ever imagined….but I will share more and more in future posts. I hope that this blog will help women to understand that they are not alone. That God is always there, ready to be our Refuge and our Rock. To God Be the Glory.