I Can't Whisper Either

I do not question the family that I was born into...the family that God gave me. No sir, I did that too often when I was younger. Back then, I was like any other teen. I wished my parents were more "modern". I begged for more freedom, and hoped for normality. In my mind, all I had were some old fashioned, Spanish speaking, loud talking, make-no-sense parents.

So, I felt captive. I felt shackled not only to my family but also to their beliefs, to their expectations, and because I lived to please others, I ended up never pleasing anyone. Back then, not only did I want more freedom and normality, I searched for their approval in ways that they were not intended to fulfill. I was left striving for something that my family couldn't give, healing.

If only I was a good daughter, than things would be better, and I'd feel better about my rebellion. If I was better, I wouldn't constantly fight with my parents about friends, or curfew, or boyfriends, or customs, or rules, or church, or money, or movies, or anything.

My senior year of high school, I met Jesus on a grainy stadium floor in Knoxville, TN. I got there by way of my best friends parent's van and my other best friends semi- made up youth group, "Four:12 Ministries". I got there by being a bad daughter.

I had concocted a master plan and had tricked my mom into believing that various people from school were going, including a chaperone. In reality, there were only three of us; all of 18 and under; me and two guys. In their eyes, a bad daughter.

Looking back, I think she let me go, in the midst of all the ambiguity, because she trusted God more than she trusted me. She knew I was into the party thing, the drinking thing, the lying thing, the teenage thing, but she saw a glimmer of hope when I told her it was a Christian conference. Even though she didn't want to let me go, I went.

Now, what I find so beautiful is that in the midst of my sin, in the midst of me being a bad daughter. Jesus found me. In the midst of my lie, here saw my dead bones in that packed stadium, and commanded them to live. 


Life, was something I knew nothing about. I became alive on that mercy-filled night. Then, I came home and a different struggle began. I didn't know what to do with my new found life.  I was new, but my old habits came knocking at my door. I ended up becoming a different version of myself, with different habits that irked my parents.


That was almost 3 years ago, and by the grace of God I have become more aware of the life that I received. Life means i am not my own, because Jesus is the I AM. 


Since that Saturday night in March of 2009, I've had the privilege of having more encounters with the Maker of Heaven and Earth, and every time more life has come forth. *

More sanctification, more love, more holiness, more justice, more vision, more mercy
more Jesus

I have been home for Thanksgiving break for about 36 hours and I can see the difference that the LORD has made. He has made a world of difference in me. He exudes from me.

Sometimes, I get really self righteous and condemn myself for not verbally proclaiming Jesus with every word, but I truly believe that He permeates all that I do. My redeemed heart does not fit within my redeemed body. It flows freely through my actions, sometimes harshly, but always sweetly.

I see it more at home because home knows who I used to be. Oh, the horror these walls could speak. I see the growth more at home because home has known me for 21 years.

Home is where I grew into a family. The Lord not only knew who each individual in my family would be, and He purposely put me in the middle of it. He knew I would become just like my mother despite the foolish tantrum I threw on the way. He knew that my father would be stubborn and distant, while my mother abounds with devotion. He knew my older sister would travel the road of problematic friendships and find redemption along the way. He knew my little brother would be thinking about having a girlfriend a too young of an age, and that my youngest would come along when I was 16 and since then, he would not leave my side-- literally... right now he is sleeping beside me. He knew that parts of my family would be redeemed through the actions of the younger generation.

Right now, He knows my longing to see that salvation spread farther, higher & deeper in this household. I don't question my place in this family because my place in this family was determined before the beginning of time & it is covered with the blood of Christ.
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So, I write this to my 17 year old self:

Yessenia,

Your parents aren't the only ones who need a transformation; you need it, your life depends on it.

Sorry to break it to you, but you are not able to whisper and your reasoning will make no sense to others, just like your family. You will become like your mother in that your faithfulness to those whom you love will bring a bittersweet, but rewarding pain, and your humor will be sprinkled with some of your dad's wittiness.

There will come a time where the fighting, will for the most part, cease. There will come a time where you will view your family with a new set of eyes, but first...

...stop ignoring what your heart keeps telling you. Stop kidding yourself. Stop seeking out confusion to ease your weary soul. Stop tuning out your mother's prayers. Stop trying to run from the Lord. Stop willing yourself into sin. Stop talking yourself into death.
Stop.

You were meant to live.
From the beginning of time, you were created to drink deep from the well-spring of life.

Now, turn! Turn, from where you are heading and run! Go unto the Father, find your place there. Place your security in the family of God. Stand strong as a daughter of the Most High. 


Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.**

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My parents still don't know English, they are still loud and their reasoning still makes absolutely no sense, but within me no longer lies a child striving to earn love. Instead, it is is filled with Christ, and those trivial things (the language, the loudness level etc.) are things I cherish, and if they annoy me, they are nothing compared to the Greatness of He who saves.

So, who cares, if not a single one of us can whisper.





* I am not suggesting that one true encounter Jesus as Lord is not enough. He is more than enough. I am speaking from my own experience of my foolishness and His greatness. I do believe that sanctification is gradual though because we cannot possibly behold all of His glory just once.


**Matthew 6:33

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