Honey and lime.
Hot water and a cup.
The perfect combination for blood clots strong enough to take away the life of an undeveloped fetus in a woman’s womb--my mom’s womb.
Fear of the Lord.
And a sentence that spoke life into me: “She might be a girl and if she is, she will be the instrument in God’s hands for her father’s salvation; I can't do this.”
I was rejected before I was even seen.
I was unwanted by my father before he even held me.
Good thing I have a Father above who loved me and my biological father enough to let me live and let me live with him.
My name is KARINA DE JESUS.
The meaning of my name in Spanish is “MUJER PURA DE JESUS”
Karina meaning “pure women”
De meaning “of” or “from”
Jesus meaning JESUS!
For years I hated this name. I never dared to tell anybody my middle name because I was embarrassed. I didn’t want to be laughed at because it was “really Hispanic” and uncommon in today’s culture.
When I learned the meaning of my name I hated it even more!
I hated the fact that I couldn't live up to my name.
I thought it was a joke to be named “pure women of Jesus”
There was nothing pure about me and I didn't feel like I belonged to anybody, especially not JESUS.
These words were stronger in shaping my life than the life God spoke over me.
After I was born, my dad had no choice but to accept my mother’s decision to keep me, the unwanted and unplanned pregnancy. My father is a great man and he always lived up to his responsibilities as a father but had fallen short as a husband. Growing up, I saw him reject my mom over and over and over again, rejection that eventually spread to us kids.
When I was three years old, my dad kicked us out but still cared for us financially from afar. The next year, when I was four years old, we immigrated to the United States. Things were better here, until they weren’t. We were sent back to Mexico and lived there for 2 more years until we, finally and for good, made our way back to the U.S. My dad was determined to fix things, but this time it all really fell apart.
During my teen years, my dad was absent once again, but I had learned to live with it. I had found someone else to fill that void who would never push me away and I relied on the love of my strong-willed mother, who was always around. At the age of 14, I gave my life to Jesus and this was a game changer for me. As I learned more about the love of God, I continued to pray for my father because I loved him.
By the end of my 14th year, I had been left again, this time by my mom, something I never saw coming. She told me that she was flying back home to see her father who was very sick. Though it broke my heart, I said goodbye to her. She promised that we would be together again soon, and I believed her.
With my mother gone, I was forced to move in with my dad who I barely knew. He had always kept his distance and filled his schedule with other things. I felt alone once again. I tried to defend my beliefs and stay strong in the Lord in the face of overwhelming opposition from my unbelieving father, but as a 15-year-old girl, my fervor didn’t last long. As the years passed, the hope of seeing my mom dwindled and my love for God fizzled. My dad remarried and my brother, who I had once been close to, was pulled away by his own life.
By 16, I was lost. I would drink and drink and drink. I would sit by myself, wishing I was with my mom and my sister. I longed to be accepted by my dad and his new family. I wanted my brother to understand my love for him, but he wouldn’t hear any of it.
My loneliness attracted someone who was lonelier. Soon I was in a relationship that only lasted a month. I left him just the way I planned on leaving every guy who would make the mistake of falling in love with me. I had decided I would leave them before they had the chance to leave me. I told myself “No one will ever do to me what dad did to mom”.
Surprisingly enough, he stayed around in my loneliness, asking nothing from me. But I gave him everything I had. Longing for love, he was the one I ran to in search of refuge.
Those years were my lowest. I was hanging out with a bad crowd and was making poor decisions. I didn’t date anyone, I was too busy playing the game. I would lead guys on, making them fall in love with me, only for me to leave them when I had gotten what I wanted from them. While I did all this, the boy never left me by my side. Though we were no longer dating, I wouldn’t let him leave.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that I had fallen in love with him. He stuck around long enough, supported me through all my ups and downs until, one day, we began dating once again. I was faithful. I loved him. He was there when nobody was. He was there when my mom, dad, brother, and sister weren't. He was there when I was lonely.
I found refuge in the wrong arms.
I loved him but I hated the way I was living with him. Our relationship was nothing more than lust, a fleeting passion that made us feel a little less lonely. I felt dirty and far from being pure or accepted. I knew that wasn't right so I decided to make a change. I started going to church once again. Getting up and taking that first step was hard.
We had plans of marriage but God had other plans. I cried out to God once and I told him I wasn't able to change where I was at and if he wanted me to change completely. He had to take me out of the hole I had dug for myself. And he did.
So I left.
I left my families rejection.
I left a boy who planned on marrying me.
I left everything for good.
I carried along to Charlotte: a city I didn't know, filled with people I didn't know. I had no idea this was going to be the desert where I would find the purest love I would ever experience.
My time in Charlotte has been a journey of God showing me his extravagant love.
For years I had practiced being like those who had harmed me in the past. I had developed habits that hurt others while protecting myself. Yet, with all of my impurities and faults, God still loves me. My hurts don’t scare him away, but he continues to run toward me. My mistakes don’t disqualify me, I can still be used by God.
He has taught me that he will never leave me.
He has taught me that he is my Father.
He is my friend.
He is my husband.
And that prophetic word that was spoken over me before I was born rang true: in 2017 my dad received Christ as his savior.
If God has taught me anything it’s that nothing is impossible for him. And no one, absolutely no one, is too far gone for his grace.
How has God changed your life? How has he changed how you see yourself?
We want to hear your story (even if it's still in process) of victory in Christ!