Tuesday, June 19, 2012

No matter the circumstances

Poppa cares!

Due to the civil war in El Salvador my parents moved to Virginia. I grew up with a loving father who made me feel important, valuable needed and loved. We were technically Catholic but at that time there were not many places with a Spanish service that we knew of and my parents didn’t speak English, so we really didn’t have a church home or strong community around us. I did know that there was a God, sin and consequences and this helped shape my decisions in life. 

After being away from his country for over 7 years, my father finally had his residency and was able to travel. He decided to go to El Salvador to visit his family for what should have been a 3 week visit, but he would never return.  A week after my 13th birthday my father was killed.   I was devastated. I didn’t understand how God could let this happen. Why he allowed this horrible man to kill my father and leave 4 kids and a wife who needed him. I decided that if there was a God he was cruel and didn’t care about us and I didn’t really want any part of him.  I decided whenever I was sad or alone I would pray- but to my deceased father to help me, lead me and allow me to make the right choices. When I made mistakes I would talk to my father about them as I thought it would have been had he been alive, asking for guidance and forgiveness. 

After the loss of my father I hardened my heart. I didn’t allow any negative things to bring me down or dictate my mood. I rarely cried, to be honest I’m not sure if I cried at all unless it was when I allowed myself to miss my Dad. And life was not easy. I created a self-sufficient mask and believed I could do everything on my own. One of my coping methods was to always prepare for worst case scenario. This helped me feel a sense of “control” and that I could avoid bad things, prevent problems, prepare for the worst and have solutions for life mapped out. The weight of the world on my shoulders was terribly heavy. I didn’t realize how much until the first time I came to church. I knew the Lord had been pursuing me and I had a need in my life I could not fill. But that first Sunday I came to church I felt the Lord was speaking directly to me. The tears started coming! It felt so freeing. The first song I heard in church was “Draw me close to you"

That is what I wanted!  My heart’s desire and the truth was that no matter how much we strive only God meets our needs. But always the gentleman he patiently waits while still being there for us, unappreciated, recognized or loved back. He gives unconditionally and we do not see him until we are ready.

It’s impossible to understand God's plan or purpose for the trials, loses and even blessing we are given. But there is a plan. I am learning to trust God daily and lean into his promises. I thank God for being me with this whole time even when I didn’t trust God cared about my life and its struggles.

Deuteronomy 31:8  “ The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”


  1. Great testimony, Yanni! Thanks for sharing your heart and lessons learned.