Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Third time is the charm...

Not really, but I thought it would be a clever title for this post.

I have been a Christian for more than 15 years and I must honestly say that accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior was, is and always will be the best decision I have ever made in my life.
It hasn't always been easy. I have traveled a rocky  and pretty eventful road, especially in my early twenties, but God has always showed himself and in His mercy and love I have found grace and a way to work out every situation.

It will take a long time to share my testimony with you all, but in light of the events that took place at Elevation Church this weekend; I will share part of it.

I was born in a Catholic family and in perfect Catholic tradition I was baptized when I was about 9 months old, I didn't get a vote or even a say in that decision. I've seen pictures and even though I don't remember the event in question I can tell by the pictures I was pretty upset. It could have been the fact that a stranger was pouring water on my face for no apparent reason or maybe because no one asked me if I wanted to do it. In any case, it happened.

At 15, I decided to cut all my ties with the Catholic Church, which was hard considering I was a Senior at a very strict Catholic High School (Yes, a senior at 15). That school was run by nuns that in my opinion were trained by the most cruel army in the world. It was a tough school, and when I decided not to participate in all the religious activities of the school, stating that I could no longer defined myself as Catholic. Well, let's just say it created a big problem for me. But I stood by what I thought to be the truth at the time, and they decided to simply let me graduate and move on with my life.

A year later when I was  a freshman in College, I had an encounter with my Creator, my Father in heaven, it happened on a Sunday morning at my mother's Church, I can't explain it and won't even try to describe it, but I got saved. 
I wish I could say that it was all rainbows and sunshine after that, but it wasn't like that at all. My life turned into quite a mess, I wasn't able to handle the freedom that came with the college life. After all, I was only 16. I was completely lost in a world where I could do pretty much whatever I wanted and get away with it. Although I survived and was able to graduate, I was never the same. I grew up too fast and did things I am definitely not proud of. I left school tired, carrying a heavy load of emotional baggage and with a lot more questions than answers. There was a big hole in my heart and I had no idea how to fill it or even hide it.

I called myself a Christian but didn't really know what that meant, after graduation I decided to move to the States, looking for a fresh start and a place where I could find some peace of mind. That's how I ended up in Charlotte NC. This awesome city welcomed me with open arms almost 14 years ago. When I first got here, I got a job as a waitress at a restaurant in the South Park area, I met a ton of great people there. Little did I know, that was the beginning  of my new life. Two of my co-workers were hardcore Christians, working part time and going to Ministry school full time. They talked a lot aboud God, and I mean a lot! They invited me to Church one day and even promised to pick me up on Sunday morning.

I went out partying the night before and got home at around 7 am. They knocked at my door at 9 o'clock sharp, and to this day I still don't know how I managed to get up and go to Church. It was my day for sure. I got there and tears were just flowing down my face. The Lord was calling me, it was time to come home, to star over, to give my life to him once and for all. These friends not only invited me to Church, they walked with me, listened to me, pray with me and for me, and I will forever be grateful to them for all their love and support. I started attending Church and at the same time I began dealing my all my personal demons. Not too long after that; my friends talked me into getting baptized, I felt I was ready for that step, ready to go public with my faith, so I went for it. It was a different kind of experience but a good one for sure.

After years of struggling, years of tears and pain, my life was beginning to make sense. I was living with a purpose and I had found my destiny.

With my new found hope and the strength my Creator provided, I began my journey as a woman of God. I fell in love with the most wonderful man on earth and together we have two incredible children. It was because of them, that last weekend I made the decision to get baptized again. I am not in my twenties anymore. I am now and adult, a wife, a mother. Everything I do in my life, every decision I make has an impact in the life of my children one way or another. I have a responsability to teach them about God, to lead them by example and to live a life of faith, love and obedience.

Last Saturday evening, during our Raised to Life event, when the Pastor extended the invitation to come forward and get baptized. I proudly stood up and publicly declared my faith. I decided to follow Jesus and wanted the world to know it. Right there and then, I got baptized for the third time.

I wanted my children to see me take that step, and although they might not understand completely what took place that day, they were there. And when their day comes, whenever their time comes, I'll be able to explain what the Lord has done for me, how He saved me,  how He made me whole again. I will tell them that the tears they saw, were tears of joy and not sadness, and how no matter what the world throws at me, I know who I am in Christ, I know who my Father is.
In HIM I found peace. In HIM I found myself.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

No regrets, really?

It really bothers me when I see people on television or even when I hear people I know say they have no regrets in their life. It boggles my mind and I just simply cannot understand how someone can feel that way.

I can only speak for myself, obviously, but there are so many things in my life I wish I had done differently, so many situations I put myself through that caused me and those around me pain and so many times I even risk my life without any valid reason. I don't think I'm the only one out there who thinks this way.

Of course, those experiences made me who I am today and I am stronger because I went through all of it, but I honestly believe there's gotta be another way to learn, something other than "the hard way" and not always by making mistakes. Is it possible to look at someone else's life and say: Wow! I am never doing that!  or that did not work out for her? and truly take it into account next time we face a similar situation, or is this analysis a result of the fact that I am no longer in my early twenties and therefore I am smarter and because I messed up so many times I finally learn my lesson?

The one thing I appreciate about having had so many bad experiences is that nothing surprises me anymore, nothing really shocks me, I have acquired the ability to understand and even relate to the most amazing and sometimes even awful things people tell me. Maybe because I've been there myself or because I understand how a good person with a good heart is sometimes capable of doing something most people would describe as "despicable".

The thing is we are all human, and with time we should develop the strength to recover from almost anything. Every day, we are given the opportunity to become better people, more human and more compassionate. It is a never ending process and I am grateful for it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The business of friendship

Friendship is forever
At least is what they say
But when I think about it
it just keeps sounding fake

This virtual world keeps lying to us
making us believe  we're not alone
One thousand friends is not enough
we want more, we need more.

When I think about my friends
Facebook doesn't come to mind
but a word, a phone call
That's what makes my heart smile

If twitter makes you clever with its witty comments and what not
Instagram makes you feel that you got it going on
Don't let Facebook trick you, don't let it deceive you
Believe me when I tell you,  it is all a circus

I just only have a few, but they are real. They are there
When times get tough and tears flow, they know me and I know them

They don't like my pics on Facebook
they don't tag me on their posts
but what they do is more important
no matter what, they show me love.

MA Ossa

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I want to be surprised.

Have you ever heard the phrase, "If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him about your plans".
Well, I have to confess that I am a big planner, both my husband and I make lists almost daily of things we need and want to accomplish, it's our little way to organize an otherwise chaotic life. So much is unexpected that I personally feel as if I have to have some sense of control over something at some point.

But in itself this is an exhausting task. It's like living on a deadline "I have to do this on Monday" I have to finish this book by Friday" I haven't gotten an allergy shot in a week, I have to do it tomorrow", "I have one week to find a new gym".

Even tonight, I sat in front of my computer thinking "I have to write something on the blog".

Why? Who cares? What is that about? Why are we so hard on ourselves?

I don't have an answer to any of those questions and I refuse to spend time trying to figure out why, because in reality I have control over very little, nothing to be honest. God is in control of everything and yet, I continue to try to get my way, failing miserably every single time.

It's ok to be organized, to write things down, to make lists, or whatever works for you, but it's also good to sit and receive what life throws at you with a smile. To expect the unexpected, to call someone you haven't talked to in a while for no other reason than to say hi, to smile at people on the street, to enjoy every little thing you do, to have a candy bar for lunch, to take a walk just to see what's on the other side of the road, to laugh, maybe even cry and perhaps later tell someone or even write about it.

So this week I only have one thing on my list:

- I will let life surprise me.

What are you gonna do?

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's been a while...

It's been a while since I last wrote here on the blog, in my journal or in any other place. The busyness of like has taken over, but in a good way.
It's been a while since I complained about my life. Lately I have been able to see the grace and mercy of God in all I do and everything around me. It truly is a great feeling.
It's been a while since I cried for any reason other than happiness and joy. I feel content.
It's been a while since I had trouble sleeping. Most nights I am able to rest and wake up restored and refreshed.
It's been a while since I wondered about the future, not that I want to be surprised (I don't like surprises at all), it's just that I am trusting God more and more these days, and with that trust also comes the peace that surpasses all understanding.
It's been a while since I counted my losses instead of my blessings.
It's been a while since I looked at my past with regret and guilt. I have learned something from every single experience, I see myself and others with compassion because of my past.

I am happy and content. Life is good.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What a great day!

This foreign soul has changed a lot in the past few months. Everything around me has also changed.
I wake up every morning thanking God for what I have and even for what I've lost.
I have prayed for my loved ones and for those I don't even care about.
I no longer worry about the little things, instead I treasure every moment of every day, they are small gifts of love from above.
I enjoy the present, this moment, right here, as I type this post listening to Alex Campos and smiling, waiting for my house guests to come downstairs and plan the day with them.
Waiting for my husband and child to come home, to hold them and tell them how much I love them
To hang out with friends, those who celebrate my victories and rejoice with every accomplishment, but more importantly, those who hold my hand when I have no words to express how I feel.
Today is a wonderful day, I am about to begin another chapter in my life and I am ready, I feel blessed.

What a great feeling!

How do you feel today? I hope you are able to see God in everything you do today.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I don't want to prove you wrong...

I went out for coffee with a good friend on Sunday and we talked about many things, we shared some good laughs and touched many interesting topics. One in particular really has stuck with me for the past three days. Freedom... it is such a wide concept.
I am beginning to understand what that looks like. Understanding and accepting myself just the way I am and not letting other people's perception of me determine my value as a person.
I sometimes spend my precious time thinking about what this person or that person think of me and why, as if that makes a difference, people believe what they want to believe, they judge others based on their own flaws, because let's face it, it is easier to see flaws in others that it is to look deeply at ourselves and point out the things we don't like or we know are wrong.
I am accepting the fact that I don't have the energy or the power to prove everybody wrong, I just don't. So I decided to stop trying. I will spend my time and energy cultivating meaningful relationships with family and friends. The rest will fall into place all by itself.

That is what freedom looks like to me these days.