Monday, November 14, 2011

birthday surprise! It's Sammantha.

Hi Dear Friends. 
Today's post comes from a very special woman. When I first met Samm (with two m's), her family was fairly new to our church. Her Parents were a bit hesitant when they arrived to youth group with their two young girls. It was a breeze of fresh air to meet a family who feared the Lord as the Word commands us to. As time flew by, I had the amazing opportunity of getting to know Sammantha and Corinne as dear friends and prayer sisters. I know that you will be blessed by her story and the message God has spoken through her. 

Aloha from Hawai'i!

Some of you may know me; I know a lot of you may not. My name is Samm, and I love Jesus.
Not much of an intro right? Well, if you think about it, that's a lot of information. From that statement, you and I could build an eternal bond. I'll tell you more about myself so you get where I'm coming from.

I just turned 20, I'm a semester away from getting my associates, and I live on the island of Oahu in Hawai'i. My dad is in the coast guard, so I'm a military brat. And yes, I'm still living in my parents’ house. One more thing, as a military family, we have only had to move once. From Homestead Florida, to Honolulu Hawai'i last year (and my dads been in the military for 20).
If you know anything about the military, you know that no move in 19 years is odd. God had a reason for that. You see, I was born and raised in a Christian family, but I didn't truly start walking with Jesus until about 3 years ago, when He moved us from a dead church to CCK. There I grew by leaps and bounds.

            Raquel took me under her wings and showed me what a godly woman looks like, as did Belkis, Michi, Dasha, Maky and dozens of others. These were a type of woman I had never seen before. They taught me how to read my bible, how to pray, how to encourage, how to love my sisters and myself.
            God also introduced me to Pastor Jose and Pastor Pedro. He put in my path Alex, Monica, Christina, Steven, Chris, Chris, Carrot Top, Jasmine, Pinito, Tiffany, Becca, Joey and a hundred others. They lifted me up, taught me what godly friends are supposed to be. They are my family. And whether they hear from me often or not, I'm always praying for them.

            If you ask them or the ladies who I consider my mentors, they'll simply point to Jesus. And they'll be 100% right; it was all Him. Feeding me, clothing me. Arming me. He taught me how to use my sword and to put on my helmet (Eph6:17).

            I don't know if you've ever moved before, but if you have and it’s been far enough away, you know what it's like to start over. That alien feeling could last anywhere from a week to a month or three. I'm not trying to belittle anyone's experiences; I understand that my life compared to others' has been cake. I just want to share what God has asked me to.

            So, my first move, and it's to another state, wait, past several time zones and half of an ocean, in a different hemisphere. And that's exactly how it felt.
            When I said my goodbyes and got on that plane, I couldn't help myself. I was angry at God. I thought "You took me from that dead place, to a home that’s alive. I felt you there, every time I walked in through the doors. You were in the congregation, in the greeters and volunteers; you were in the worship, the leaders and the pastors. You were there and I felt you. You showed me what I could be; like those godly women. You showed me how much I could love those people that aren't even physically related to me. What are You doing?! You're tearing me from them! I don't want to leave! Who cares if I'm going to 'paradise,' I want to stay where I feel You, where I feel loved."

            Can you imagine my audacity? How could I, a mere human, berate the Most High God? I was angry. I was hurt. Mostly, I felt so alone.
            I walked onto this island with the mentality of "This will never be my home." I thought, "The believers back in Florida aren't here, how am I going to survive?" At first, I was so happy that I could text and facebook people I missed. But eventually I learned to loath technology. It could tell me what was going on back home, but I couldn't be apart of it. My body was on Oahu, but my mind, spirit and strength was back in Miami.

            5 months. That's how long it took to look forward. It only took 3 to find the church He wanted us to be at, but my eyes were closed. Funny thing is that Pastor Jose specifically told us not to keep our eyes on the past. He quoted the scripture that says someone who takes to the plow but looks back is not worthy of the kingdom of God. I remember thinking about that, but I ignored what God was trying to tell me. I guess my ears were closed too. Then God had mercy on me, and He opened my eyes. I don't know when, it happened slowly, but I began to see what God had given me.

            The New Year rang in with a new resolution. My mom put her foot down. She said we were going to attend church regularly, and more than that, we were going to get involved. God really softened my heart after that. He showed me that I could love my family back in CCK, but I had more family here, just waiting to love me too.

            If I had the time and the space, I would tell you about Pastor Waxer and Pastor Mike. I would talk about Jesse and Aimee, Troy, Luc, Pattie, Rachel, Carolyn, Joshua, Nolan, Paka, Christina, Mario, Tori, Sirayha, Ryan, Vince, Jeff, Tanner and many, many more. These are your brothers and sisters, and they love Jesus. Being a Christian means that even though you only have your love for Jesus in common, that's all you need.

            Joshua 1:9 is my life verse, and has been long before my move. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." I am a living witness to this promise. He's everywhere you are, whether you feel Him or not. I moved 4,853.29 miles away, and God is still with me.

Just like you only knew about Jesus before experiencing Him, I knew in my head that 1, I have many brothers and sisters around the world and 2, that Jesus is everywhere. I didn't know these facts in my heart before moving, and I am so glad that God proved these facts true to me.

I hope you realize that though God taught me to use my sword and my helmet in a time of peace and growth, it took a storm so He could teach me how to use my shield. I picked up my faith at CCK, where I was comfortable and safe. But I had learned to exercise and use my faith when my world came crashing down.

If you don't get anything from my running on, please remember that God loves you and wants the best for you, which includes teaching you to use your shield in battle, which He has already won by the way.

My name is Samm, and I love Jesus.

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