Hola! My name is Frances. I want to start off with ensuring that you know that I am not the hero of my story. My hero is actually the complete opposite: Jesus Christ. I was born in Riverside, California in the year 1989. My grandmother immediately adopted me so that I would not have to be raised in the foster care system. She is from Mexico and was quite older at the time; yet, she was filled with joy, love, and energy as I was her first grandchild. So, my story begins when I enter this world to my beautiful grandmother.
What about my biological parents, you ask? My mother had to give up her parenting rights for obvious reasons, while my father was incarcerated.
My infant and toddler years were filled with love from my grandmother until I was four years old. She then passed away from pancreatic cancer. Consequently, I began to live with my aunts and uncles. My younger years entailed lots of movement and changes of environments. I think this is why I am pretty adaptable.
My aunts and uncles loved me dearly.
Shamefully, I accepted the various lies that the enemy filled my mind with: They don’t love you. They are only taking care of you because of an obligation. You are ugly. You are unlovable. You are defective. You are a waste of space. Everyone would be much happier without you. You are not wanted.
These thoughts began to take root in my mind and heart, and then eventually evolved into negative actions/behaviors. I did not let anyone get close to me nor did I express these heavy burdens that I was struggling with to anyone. I mean, I saw myself as the burden to people. I locked the key to my heart and threw it away, so that no one could love me. I could not even love myself.
I grew up to definitely contemplate suicide a few nights, as the enemy filled me with more supposed truths: No one would care if you killed yourself. In fact, they would be relieved because they would not have to take care of this kid who is not their own. Just do it to make the world a better place.
In the midst of all of this trash being fed into my teenage mind, I heard a small and more powerful voice that told me: I love you. I created you. I created everything on earth and I choose to create you. You have a purpose. I care about you.
These real truths are what prevented me from taking my suicidal thoughts any further. Praise the Lord!
However, I only knew this voice as a higher being. I didn’t know it was the Holy Spirit at the time. The voice seemed so distant from me, but powerful in my darkness. It was as if this voice lived outside of the world but knew everything about the world. The “I” who was engaging me was God to me. Other than that, I did not know anything else at the time.
A few years later, I remember visiting my Tia Eloina one day, who informed me, in Spanish, that Jesus Christ was my father since I did not grow up with my biological father. She pointed to a statue she had of Him on the cross, as she told me this. I will never forget this and I felt so much comfort knowing that a God existed, which was the same one who overpowered the enemy’s garbage in my earlier years. I still had not confessed that He was my Lord and savior yet. All I knew was that he was real.
At the age of seventeen, I joined the U.S. Navy so that I did not have to be a burden to my aunt and uncle. The politically correct answer for signing my life away to Uncle Sam was so that I could have three things: financial security, college degree, and travel experience. They did offer for me to live with them and attend a local community college, but my heart still was not completely healed from the scars of my younger years. Independence and freedom seemed so nice!
While stationed within the state of Washington, a gentleman by the name of George had entered the sailor recreation center one day, asking people if they wanted to come to church. Learning that I did not have a car, he informed me that I could ride a van to the church. I accepted the request, since it had been a very long time that I attended a church service. The church is called Living Faith Christian Center.
The preacher’s message spoke directly to my heart. He spoke directly to the various, so called “truths” that I wanted to hide in the darkest part of my mind, soul, and heart. He brought it to the light by saying that the Lord still loved me even after knowing all of me. His love for me was not dependent upon my actions. His love is constant despite what he knew that I held onto in my heart.
My soul and body began to cry out in repentance. I needed and begged for the Lord’s forgiveness for believing that I was alone and not loved. I needed the Lord to forgive me for treating – even simply considering them – my family as if they were my enemies, when they were there for me all along. My family did love me. This was the truths of all truths. I just did not see it that way because I was so caught up in looking at what I did not have that I did not value what I did have. And what I did have were all gifts from the Lord. At least, that is how I began to see things. His truth completely changed my perspective at a 180 degree turn.
Needless to say, the gospel of God’s truth broke through my ugly darkness. I didn’t want anyone to know all the nasty truths that I had locked away, which were from the Devil.
My friend, you must know that the Lord is more powerful and authoritative than the enemy. God’s powerful truth changed my heart completely, shattering all of the lies that I had valued so dearly. My heart began to beat with repentance, love, and joy. I decided to get baptized at that church and profess Him lord and savior over my Life because He returned to me what the enemy had stolen from me.
I began to seriously dive into the Bible after that, craving to learn more about this all-knowing, loving God named Jesus Christ: my hero.
I am ultimately forever changed because of my Hero’s pursuit of me.
This is my testimony in which I am not the hero.
I hope it encourages you today.