Jen’s Story

I am not yet who I am meant to be, but I am not who I once was…

My parents were both born in Puerto Rico, moved to Boston in the 60’s, met, were married and had 3 children; yours truly is the youngest. As the youngest it was my right to make my older siblings’ life…difficult. So, when I discovered my sister was going to a local church where she was having fun and making friends, I persuaded my mother (aka whined until I got my way) to make my sister take me with her.

I had been going to church with my sister for a while, having fun and making friends, but never making a clear commitment to follow Christ as my Savior or even feeling the need to do so. Until one Sunday morning, I heard a clear voice telling me that it was time to make a decision because I would be needing Him soon. It was April 14, 1991. I was 13 years old. I clearly remember the date because it was a little over a year later in July 1992, my otherwise healthy mother died of cancer. She had been diagnosed only 6 months earlier. Her death was difficult for all of of us, but there was some comfort in knowing that before she passed away she had made the decision to also follow Christ.

The next few years were hard. Although loving and desired to do well, my father’s heart was quite broken and wasn’t able to properly care for a teenager which caused some tension and animosity between us. Because of this, I grew slightly too independent. After a failed attempt to go to college, I and my boyfriend at the time, decided to move to Florida.

There, I began a new life; had Jake, got married, got divorced all without ever consulting God and His will for my life. After a string of bad decisions, the Lord called me back to him in 2005. He revealed to me things in my past He had kept hidden from me until I was able to handle knowing them. During this time, I still made some bad choices, but I was growing closer to the Lord and to the path He had for my life.

In 2010, I wanted to take my relationship with the Lord to a “new level” and I thought a mission trip would help me do that. After some internal conflict of where to go, I chose to go to Guatemala. My first trip to Guatemala was in July of 2010 and because of God’s grace and the generosity of others, I have been able to go every 6 months since then. All, with the exception of 1 which was an 8 week-long trip with Jake, have been a week or 2. Every trip, my heart grows more in love with the country, the people and the Lord.

During the 8 week summer trip, Jake and I met a team from Thomasville, Alabama. Since I was one of their translators Jake and I grew quite close to them and before the week was over, Jake said he felt the Lord telling him we were to move to Thomasville when we returned to the States. This was not something I was in agreement with at first,  but a month after we returned to the States, Labor Day weekend of 2012, we moved to Thomasville, AL.

Fast forward to 2017. Jake graduated from high school and began his college career. I remained in Thomasville until December 2017 when after much prayer decided to move back to Florida.

Life is completely different now. Jake in Alabama and I in Florida. We are so much closer than we have ever been and I am beyond proud of the man he is growing into every day.

I don’t know where this new path will lead me, but I am excited to see the all that God has in store!

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