There are many people in this world who have overcome extreme challenges. Most of those challenges have been detrimental to their well-being and even their life. Yet, with all that has fallen upon them, they find the the strength to arise, fight, and overcome once again. Such is the strength that comes from people of the Christian faith.
Today, sometime in the afternoon, a young married couple walked into Bridge Ministries of Laredo. It was not their first visit, but it was the first time we had the opportunity to hear their story.
The young man, only has completed about two years since he first gave his life to Christ Jesus. He used to be a "rock music" fanatic. He invested much money in collecting music, paraphernalia, and dressing up like one as well. However, one day, he went shopping and ran into a young lady who challenged him regarding this lifestyle. He was so challenged and influenced by what she would share with him, that he asked her to help him change. So this young lady, took up the opportunity to also minister to him and invite him to church as well. He continued to do so to the point where the young lady even got him a Bible from which to read from.
In combination with the testimony he witnessed of this young lady, both his church attendance and Bible readings, he eventually gave his life to Christ. Not too much after this occurred, he asked this young lady to be his girlfriend. She refused for a long time and presented her convictions of the Biblical standard for courting (meaning, dating with the purpose of marrying a person). As time went by, God found a way to make these two young people suitable for each other and they got married.
The young lady, has completed close to three years of being saved. This is not much more than the young man. Yet, her devotion to scripture, seeking God, and seeking out Godly people increased her spiritual growth exponentially. However, let us take into account several of the life challenges that she endured through and survived prior to her day of salvation. Within her life, she has been neglected, abused, faced depression and spiritual oppression, encountered suicidal idealization, both familial and social rejection, as well as isolation, and even some hardships with living on the streets. Consequently, for many years, you could witness within her an over expressed sense of humility as well as a stutter in her speech; to name a few.
Although she went through so much hardship in her life and with ill side effects, Christ Jesus reached out to her and changed her life. He rescued her and tended to her wounds. He began a healing process that has radically transformed her heart, mind, soul, as well as empowered her with His strength. When a person now meets her, they will encounter a young women who is filled with both wind and fire of the Holy Spirit! She takes a stand with courage and speaks with boldness; she both speaks and ministers as a preacher.
This young lady has a heart full of compassion. For several years, now, she has been inclined towards ministering to children and some young people whom God has impressed upon her to do so. Sometimes she wonders if it is because of her prior life hardships or because of God's calling for such people. Hence, she makes an effort to acquire as many resources as she can to teach and instruct young people in the ways of her Lord, Christ Jesus. Additionally, she also ministers to people within church congregations and public places as the Lord leads her to do so.
She still faces challenges in her life. Many of those challenges push her to the edge of the present level of endurance. Yet, like the seed of a mustard, her faith is empowered by her Lord and she overcomes her challenges as well as increases in resilience. Hence, when the next challenge presents itself before her, it will be great, but she will be stronger and more resilient because of Christ Jesus who abides within her and the Holy Spirit who empowers her.
Hebrews 11:1 states that ... "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Through this couple we have witnessed that people face life challenges in different ways. Yet through them all, God loves, calls, and draws them in towards Christ Jesus. When they accept Him as their Lord and Savior, He radically transforms their lives. They are forever ruined from the ordinary things that lay outside of Christ!
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R. A. Gómez