Being confident of this very thing,
that He who has begun a good work in you
will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
My dearest and beloved Readers, thank you for allowing my story to enter your hearts. He is mighty to save and as you will read today, mighty to heal. Picking it up where we left off...
I could easily tell you that from that day on I became the godliest woman alive, who saturated her life day and night with the Word of God and that I had been cured for good, but that would be a lie. As for the Anorexia, I hid that ugly truth for anyone and everyone. I began to eat slowly with small portions and eventually was eating full meals again. I soon began to notice the sudden weight gain due to the lack of food in my body but I was going to be ruthless with this sin and not go back to that horrible lifestyle.
There was a sudden joy in my eyes that others began to notice and draw near to. For the first time in my whole life I worshipped God in song. I discovered the freedom found in worship. During church I couldn't wait to lift my hands up and adore the One who gave me life abundantly. For the slower songs, the worship leader would ask people to be seated but I couldn't, so to my knees I would fall in surrender. I quickly made myself a cd of worship music and everyday for an hour I would lock myself in my room and have a date with God. I would read everyday consistently. In one night, right after my surrender I read the book of Ruth four times, Esther once and Song of Songs one time (that's when I called it a night, lol). I was in love. All I wanted was to spend each and every moment with Jesus.
With time though, the honeymoon was over... more like I drifted away. In the time span of almost three years I allowed myself to leave my first love. I had planned many nights to run away from home. I felt like a prisoner because of my Parent’s strict rules and so I sought refuge in my old ways, rebellion, and bad company. I was apathetic and not reading my Bible as much. I was cursing again and found myself surrounded with a different crowd. Though I wasn’t dealing drugs anymore, my friends were now the ones consuming. I didn’t abandon God entirely, how could I after all, He had come through for me as a knight in shinning armor? So, I did the Christian thing and shared with my friends the good message of Jesus Christ. Upon their rejection of the Gospel I was so upset, looking back though I realize that I would have never “won” them over when I was acting just like them, nothing about me appeared to be different from them. Instead of being the good influence, I had been the one influenced by my friends, and not for the good. But since I had no relationship with my Parents, barely an existing one with my siblings, my friends was all I had. They had become my new obsession.
During this time, God continued to pursue me. He not once gave up on me. His pursuit was subtle. He was a perfect gentleman. He knew me so well that He sent Margaret my way, knowing that I would listen to someone who had trotted a similar road to mine. With her great motherly instincts, Margaret was able to read right through me. And for once, I came across someone whom I couldn’t lie to. Without her knowing, the Lord used her to spark one of the greatest arguments between God and I. Yes, you read right. I still argue with God… though I go into the fight knowing that I am not going to win. Margaret was leading a group I was in and that night we studied John 15:1-8*. At the end of the study, she gave us a challenge based on John 15:2. We were asked us to pray and seek of the Lord the branch or branches in our lives that were not bearing fruit, and the challenge was cut it off with God’s help.
All puffed up with pride I prayed in this manner, “Lord, I recently asked Papi to forgive me for my bad attitude, my rebelliousness and for all the pain I have caused him. That was my only bad branch. Seriously God, I have no branch that needs to be pruned or cut.” HA! I can only laugh at my foolishness. I don’t think a minute had gone by when I felt the prompting of the Lord, “Give me your friends.” My first thought, “You’re crazy.” I was serious, and war had just broken out. I pretty much told God that night that I didn’t want to hear it. He had given me those friends and there was no way that I was about to give up the only people that were there for me. The audacity I had is ridiculous. Later that night I put an offer on the table for God, “Well, I guess I’m not such a saint. What else besides my friends would you like from me?” But God wasn’t about to compromise his will to please me. I needed to please Him without compromise. And that’s when I told him that even though I appreciated all that He had done for me I could not continue with Him if what He required of me was my friends.
My struggle to please God and please myself was terribly unsuccessful. I was miserable fighting with God. I acknowledged how wrong I was but my pride would not give in to God. Not only that but I also feared life without my friends, I would once again be left alone, unnoticed and without accountability. I feared that without my friends, I would return to a life of Anorexia. The cost of giving up my friends was too high and I could not afford it. But God- I love those God moments- even in my battle against His will and desire, He continued to allure me.
There was a Christian concert that my family was attending. We had some pretty nice seats and excited we were. That was until we realized that they had sold us more seats than were in the row. Two of us would have to sit elsewhere. My sister and I got the boot and we had to sit pretty far up. God was on the move and I didn’t even know it. During one of the songs the lady next to me turned to me and said that God has a message for me. She said, “God wants to use you but you first have to give to Him what He is asking of you.” She helped unveil my eyes as God spoke through her. I knew then that it was the true living God calling out to me. She prayed with me. That night I surrendered my friendships to God.
I didn’t want to break up with my friends in a way that would spoil a future relationship between them and God, so I prayed that He would be the one to dissolve the relationships. And He faithfully did. One by one, everyone went on their merry way. I did have to put a stop to one destructive friendship once and for all. Was it hard? I was torn but it wasn’t as painful as I thought. The once so popular Raquel was found alone again. And though I did have peace about my decision I still cried for a week I cried, desperate for God to fill this gap. God bandaged my wounds, but I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow.
This was one of the many branches that God either pruned or cut off. But this specific branch was the engine starter for the ultimate ride with my Jesus.