Have you ever had moments when you think you are too lost to find your way back to the light?
It sounds dramatic.
It sounds like an overdone theme you’d find in movies and countless books.
But if you’re someone who believes in good and evil in this world… you’ll know how much this world is in warfare. It does not go away and the only way to face this battle is head-on.
There are many things in this life that are wrong, but we decide to shrug it off . We tolerate behavior that actually leads us further away from light.
It takes on several hats – from addiction to drugs, social media, toxic relationships, money, and other fixations that we make idols. We all have them. But we don’t need to tolerate the lies we feed ourselves.
In day 2, I will reveal the lesson I learned on fighting darkness and the hard sacrifices that must be made to actually choose the way that leads to true fulfillment. This is the story of Patricia, and her decision to choose God in her times when the world beckoned her to turn a blind eye instead.
Not all of my posts for this week will be in journal entry format. It’s just as of right now, it’s the best way of telling this testimony without it becoming mechanical and robotic.
I’ve only included first names to preserve the integrity of these testimonies.
Thank you for reading.
Today, when I woke up, I did not see the day as a laundry list or a to-do list. I sat in wonder as Patricia shared her story in the morning while she cooked a wide array of food for breakfast. She encouraged me to try all the food. It made me feel like home. It felt like weekend mornings when daddy would make eggs, bacon, and some other breakfast food for mommy and my brother. It reminded me of morning bread and café at Senhora Vanda’s in Manaus.
We opened up in prayer and began to dig into the food. As we ate, Patricia began to tell me her story – her story on how she came to God. How for many years she struggled with her life before Christ.
She came to Christ six years ago. It was at a time when God had already been revealed to Patricia. Even though she knew of God, she made it adamantly clear to me:
I was still walking in the ways of the world.
It made me think of a lot of my friends… a lot of other Christians… even myself. It would be a lie if I said that I didn’t get tempted by the allure of the world.
The allure such as monetary success or even my own love for writing and music. They are the things that when we least expect it, become our idols. They become the false gods which we put our faith in, instead of the true God.
For Patricia, her situation was a dilemma. Here she was unmarried with three children, her first one from another man, and now, with a man who walked in the way of the world, too.
“He had a hardened heart… he was authoritative believing that men and women have their own set roles,” Patricia explained to me as we continued to eat our breakfast.
“I asked God to show me what to do.”
For Patricia, there were only two options if no change happened.
If no change happened, she would have to walk away. She would leave with her three children to live a life true to God…
But she also asked God: if it truly was meant to be, Christophe would come to Christ and she would stay.
She prayed that day, the decision blaring in her mind and piercing through her heart.
Show me what to do, God.
The following day was the day of the assembly with other brethren of the faith. Seemingly out of nowhere, Christophe asked to come to the assembly with her, too. Patricia did not tell him about her prayers from the previous day.
About ready to leave for the assembly, the car was already full of people. Would he still want to come?
Patricia still felt skeptical. She had invited him in the past before, but the response was always the same. He passed on the invitation.
Today was different. While some may say it was a coincidence, Patricia began to realize it was otherwise.
Even with a full car, Christophe found another way to get to the assembly. He arrived and he decided he would be at the assembly together with Patricia.
In the middle of worship, tears began to flow from his eyes. The hard façade Patricia was accustomed to seeing in Christophe had dismantled. It was a shock to Patricia. It was a shock to Christophe.
People in the assembly showered Christophe with their prayers. It felt like a miracle.
But it didn’t just feel like a miracle. It was a miracle.
This was change. A prayer answered.
Patricia received her answer just the following day after her initial prayers about the dilemma.
“Wow…” It was probably the only response I could muster.
We’re used to hearing how people can’t change in a day.
That’s where we’re wrong. Inward change, yes, can be a slow process… but who’s to stop a person from changing? Why is time a constraint? Why do we limit ourselves to believing that change can only happen slowly?
Shortly after Christophe’s change of heart, Patricia knew the answer: she and the children would stay.
Patricia and Christophe married shortly after.
“This is only one miracle. There are others.”
I was still processing the first part of her story. To me, it was still amazing to hear the back story and struggles she faced before she and Christophe married.
I felt a sense of honor and humility that Patricia shared this part of her testimony with me.
I waited, intent on hearing the rest of Patricia’s testimony. I waited with hopeful patience, for the next story of God that would be revealed to me.