I’m home

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I’ve been home for the week and it’s been good to just turn my brain off. These past few days have been pretty tough. As write, I contemplate on where I am at. I arrived home last Friday. Saturday, my niece came over and we had a good bonding session. Sunday I went to visit Jerald at the hospital he is staying at. His cousin was so cool and asked if I wanted to tag along with the family. Seeing him was so great. It took him a good five seconds to recognize me, but when he did, he wanted me to stay holding his hand. I missed him so much. He was connected to so many wires. He looked like he had lost a few pounds. He was going in and out and was in so much pain. Still, seeing him and being there was what I needed. We drove back home the same day. Monday I just relaxed and went out to dinner to catch up on life with one of my best friends, Lupita. Tuesday I went over to my brother’s place to hang out with him and my niece. Wednesday I went back to Seattle to visit Jerry. It was a bit harder this time around. Jerald was in so much pain. He did not recognize me till after a while. It was really hard to see him in so much pain. I felt like when I finally did have him, I had to leave.

We spoke for a bit. He told me that he is in so much pain. It is so hard to watch him be in pain, much harder hearing him state the fact that he is in pain. He told me that the tumor has spread within his spinal fluids all the way down his back. After that, there isn’t much more, he said. All I could say was, Jesus has the final say. I didn’t want to leave, he asked me to stay. I just wanted to stay there.

Lately I have been struggling within myself. My prayer has always been for the Lord to have his way, and in my heart it has always been for him to let his will be done. I know God is a good God, and that we must not question his works, for they are marvelous, as his ways. I just feel like spiritually, I am being pushed, to not only have faith, but have hope. Is God not a God of healing? I am so disappointed in myself, for not praying as much for healing. I know that God is a God of healing. Why have I not prayed more for healing? I must trust that God is who he says he is.

So here I am, grasping onto every inch of hope. Knowing that God looks at my heart, and knowing that he is a good God.

Psalms 30:2

1 I will exalt you, Lord,

    for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 Lord my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.
3 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.

4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

6 When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
7 Lord, when you favored me,
you made my royal mountain[c] stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.

8 To you, Lord, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What is gained if I am silenced,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
Lord, be my help.”

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

Jerald Update: He might go home next week if he continues improving and if his pain diminishes. Please pray for healing over his body, and for the physical pain to go away. He is such a strong fighter, and by the grace of God, he is alive and well. Thank you for your prayers.

Moments like these

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I really miss my boyfriend. I can’t stand the pain he’s in. I miss him so much. I just wish I could talk to him about my day, ask him about his, sit there and listen to him talk about things that he loves. He’s the best friend I’ve ever had. Moments like these are so difficult, where I am overwhelmed with wonder and hurt. I don’t like being so far away from him. I don’t like not knowing. I don’t like his suffering. Oh how I feel guilty, selfish, for studying at a university that is so far away.. I want to be physically there for him as he focuses on getting better. Moments like these, where I just break… I realize the brutal reality of my situation. Listening to ‘Late Have I Loved You’ by Gungor on my Spotify is not helping me feel better.  His dad told me that Jerry probably did not want to upset me before tests. I’d rather know than just be completely disconnected. My heart feels so heavy that it hurts.

Although I am overwhelmed, I must trust in Jesus. He’s so good, and although I cannot see it, he’s working. Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Hebrews 13:5: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (NKJV). . Philippians 4:6: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done”

Jerald Update: The doctors don’t know much. They don’t know when he’ll be home anymore. I’m thankful for his cousin Alejandra, for keeping me updated and helping me get through. Please pray for Jerry, for physical strength. Please pray for comfort to my soul in this extremely difficult time.

Praise is who I am: My reflections during my quiet time.

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Praise is who I am. Praise is an act of worship to whatever it is that you serve. You can serve yourself and serve what your desires are. I want to serve God with all of me. I want to fill all of the plans and all of the desires that God has for me. You praise God with thanksgiving through your actions. Your actions of worship can be serving others just how Jesus served, or just worshiping at all times. I want to have a heart of worship. You receive a heart of worship when you decide that that you want to be an act of worship. I want my life to be an act of thanksgiving and a reflection of my gratitude. This means that in every situation, as of now I vow to myself, that I will praise God through the good and the bad, through the happy or sad. I owe it all to Jesus. I owe my life to him. He gave it all for me, he loved me through my brokeness and through my uncertainty. He loved me when I wanted nothing to do with him. He came to my rescue. I want to live for him, because he died for me.

 

“Praise is what I do
When I want to be close to You, 
I lift my hands in praise.
Praise is who I am, 
I will praise Him while I can.
I’ll bless Him at all times.

I vow to praise You
Through the good and the bad.
I’ll praise You, 
Whether happy or sad.
I’ll praise You 
In all that I go through
Because Praise Is what I do
Cause I owe it all to you

Praise is what I do
When I want to be close to You, 
I lift my hands in praise.
Praise is who I am, 
I will praise Him while I can.
I’ll bless Him at all times.

And I vow to praise You
Through the good and the bad.
I’ll praise You, 
Whether happy or sad.
I’ll praise You 
In all that I go through
Because Praise Is what I do
Cause I owe it all to you

Praise is what I do, 
Even when I am going through, 
I’ve learned to worship You.
Though my circumstance doesn’t even stand a chance, 
My praise out weighs the bad.

And I vow to praise You
Through the good and the bad.
I’ll praise You, 
Whether happy or sad.
I’ll praise You 
In all that I go through
Because Praise Is what I do
Cause I owe it all to you

 

Jerald update: Don’t know much, but thanks to his cousin Ally, I know that the doctors are trying to control his pain, and that he’s ready to be home. He’s had more family and friends visit. 

Prayers for my Future Husband; I love you: you’ll get through this.

I pray that tomorrow you wake up and own the day.

I pray that If there is anything that hurts you, that it leaves and you and you learn something new.

I pray that you rise above everything that is an obstacle.

I pray that you love resiliently.

I pray that you continue making your parents proud.

I pray that you live life to the fullest.

I pray that you become the man you want your son to be, and a man you’d be okay with your daughter marrying.

I pray that you receive an outstanding amount of patience for dealing with your surroundings. (including me)

I pray that you become the man of God you are destined to become.

Jerry update : Jerald has been feeling pretty sick lately. His dad currently holds his phone and it is off. Don’t really know much, but he’ll be home sometime this week. Praying for healing in the name of Jesus. Blessed to have such a pair of wonderful campus youth pastors that prayed over me, and senior pastors from back at home keeping track of Jerald’s progress. Please keep Jerry in your prayers.

Annnnd I’m done!

Prayer….

Good news: I’ve officially checked out for the week: of my worry and stress. I just finished taking the last of my four midterms for this week. I did move out, and all but a few items that I have are in my new place.

Bad news: Jerald’s tumor has increased and gone over to his spine, all while being inoperable. He called me yesterday with the news. It was devastating… We spoke for a bit, we talked later that night, he’s so strong. When I first heard the news, after hanging up of course, I did a good cry. One good cry, then I asked my friends to pray with me. It was great. Prayer is so powerful. It’s so crazy how we forget to how powerful prayer is when we disregard prayer by getting too lazy and too comfortable with conformity. Imagine how much greater your life would be if you just took just five more minutes of prayer out of your day everyday.

Besides the fact that I have a huge zit on my cheek..my goal is to give my worries to the Lord, and not portray any stress.

God is still good, God is still God.

Jerald Update/Post Surgery update: He will be in Seattle till Monday. He has a significant amount of pain gone. …still has the occasional trembling, but takes medicine and it has diminished. Please keep Jerry and his family in your prayers. Please pray for his happiness and well being. Also, if you could, please pray for me, that God gives me the strength. Oh! Please pray for my wonderful support system, pray that my friends and family be oh so blessed as they are such an abundant blessing to my soul.

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A Heart For Missions

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Lately my cry has been for a heart like Jesus; a heart for everyone. Sometimes we get too involved with ourselves and our daily schedule and routine, we just forget about others. Since I have been born and raised in church It is so weird to me that I have not gone on a missions trip.

My heart for missions was basically instilled by the parentals. My parents have such a heart for missions and always remind me about local missions being just as important as those that are more far away. They always serve those around them and always tell me that they serve because someone served them. They tell me that they spread the good news because someone spread the good news to them. My dad has such a heart that in a few cases has let a few homeless families stay at our home. My ma always tells me she wants to send me as a missionary to Africa and jokes about me getting eaten by lions.

Sometimes I wonder why I don’t get as involved as my parents. This is something that I need to work on. I have always felt like I don’t give enough as my parents do. They just serve endlessly and never get tired. Instead of beating myself up about it I decided to do work. My freshman year I decided I wanted to go on a missions trip with my campus church, but I was horrid at saving money. Sophomore year I felt like I couldn’t travel because of Jerald’s situation. After praying for a while I feel like it’s my time to go. Haiti was a hot thing at my church for missions, and even though I would had loved to go with my campus youth, I felt like I was being called more to Ecuador (a medical missions trip). I met up with my campus church missions pastor CJ and just spoke about my heart for missions. He shared his heart and the church’s heart. At the moment I’m praying and setting a goal for Ecuador 2015. I am so excited with what Gods doing in me and with where he is taking me. I must always remember Serving others is serving God.

[Acts 13:47]”For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.””

Jerald Update: His surgery went well yesterday. I had two missed calls from his mom, called back and spoke to him. It just melted my heart how  after his surgery he was so tired and still called me. I’m so happy. He’ll be in Seattle recovering, and home by the time I’ll be home for spring break.

Trust: Even When I Cannot see

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I failed today. I won’t go into detail but I let my flesh win. I need to learn to trust with not a single inch of doubt, working on it. I’m extremely overwhelmed with this week and have four tests this week. I move out this week in two days. Jerald had surgery for this pain. The surgery went well. He is still in immense pain. Sometimes I wish that I was in the situation he was, that way I could remove every single amount of pain that he has to deal with, then I remember that I must not question God and all of his will and works. Sometimes I just cannot stand it. Sometimes that is all I think about.

I started this day out praying over today with my friends Namita and Ariel. Before my class I saw my friend Liliana at the bus stop. We prayed over Jerry’s surgery. I know many bible studys and care groups in my campus church have prayed over me and Jerald. I am so fortunate to have such caring and thoughtful friends that are truly a gift from above.

My prayer:

Thank you for keeping Jerald safe and being there in the surgery room. Please be there for him in this difficult time. Prepare him and show him what your plan is. Work in him. Pour out an unexplainable amount of love wherever he his. Remove his loneliness and discouragement. Jesus, do not let me get discouraged. Teach me how to pray. Show me real love. Show me how to love and trust with all of me, selflessly, shamelessly…Forgive me. Never leave me. Give me grace. Give me kindess. Mend my heart. Help me walk by faith.

Jerry Update: Jerry will stay in Seattle for a couple more days to heal. He is still a bit sore from the surgery, but fully there. Please keep him in your prayers.

Should Christians Drink Alcohol? Living right and In ministry

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Don’t these glasses look absolutely beautiful?

So here I am with my friend Geneva in her dorm room discussing an article that our friend posted on Facebook.
here’s the link: http://laurelmariekells.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/response-should-christians-drink-alcohol/

We were speaking about the impact the article had on us. After reading the article I felt like maybe I have been thinking differently. Since then I have been strongly praying and asking God to change me and my mindset if possible, as I was raised around no alcohol. I was ecstatic when I found out that the article had the same impact on Geneva. Here is my issue. Since reading the article I feel the same. After speaking over the article and how we sought God out in result of it, we had one conclusion: Conviction. At the end of the day, you are accountable for yourself and your doings. We just feel a significant conviction.

I do not wish to attack the article. You can read it yourself, form an inference, in a sense. I will say that the article has no biblical references, just opinion, which leaves me distraught. This is just her opinion, which is self centered and a lot of stuff in the article is solely her opinion. (4 stanza statements of I believe..) In fact, a lot of stuff in the article are actually very non-bibical.

Here are a few things from the blog that I just wanted to clear out.

-there’s no such thing as a powerful person, but someone powerful in God 

-you are called to separate yourself from sin, and that is that.

Where I stand (IN THE WORD):

Leviticus 10:9 states: “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come..” Call this verse ancient and say that a lot of stuff in Leviticus is too absurd to use in context. So why do we even keep Leviticus in the bible then? Just to whip it out for inspirational use? We might as well remove it.. I know that Leviticus is in the bible for a reason. It’s God’s unshaken word. I know that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  Leviticus 10:8:-11: “Then the Lord said to Aaron, 9 “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, 10 so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, 11 and so you can teach the Israelites all the decrees the Lord has given them through Moses.” ..We are descendants. God calls us to be set apart, and by be apart I mean from those who don’t know him.

If you believe that alcohol is not wrong, then I respect you. All we can do is pray for conviction and be led by the spirit. As far as Alcohol (as it is not my place anyway, but If you were interested): I will never condemn, but I will never condone.  

Jerry update: Please pray for Jerry. He has been basically bedridden from the pain. I’m praying for healing.

I saw this picture on Instagram and I just stared at it and reflected on it for a good 5 minutes. I want to be that person that just has it together and has people wondering how the heck I am human, almost a superhero. 

 

But I realized something different…

 

I cannot do anything by my own strength.. Last year people would ask me how I kept it together and I would do the typical thing.. say the right things..like say it is in Gods hands and that I chose to remain positive. No one knew how unhappy I was. No one knew how helpless and angry at God I was. I resented God. I resented myself…I resented God for allowing certain situations to happen. I resented myself for doing something that would make God allow certain things to occur to me. I resented God for punishing me and for my not knowing what I did to anger God. I was so sad, so lonely. I kept it all inside, told no one for the longest time. 

 

But I realized something different…

 
I cannot do anything by my own strength..I need Jesus. I needed a God that saves, heals, delivers, saves. I needed God. I need God. Only he can change me. Only he can save me. Only he can heal my heart, heal my hurt. Only he can heal my boyfriend’s stage 3 brain tumor that is too close to the stem for doctors to touch. Only he can heal Jerry’s hurt heart. Only Jesus can give an unexplainable peace that surpases all understanding. Only Jesus can give a Joy that still allows you to get through your day, week, month, year, life. I got that. it wasn’t easy…
 
It was when I did something different…
 
I grew tired of my prayers to God being confessions of how sad I was. I decided to do something about it. I decided that I was wrong. I need Jesus. I told myself “God is good.” over and over and over again until I began believe it. I forced myself to worship God through my resentment, through my pain. I gave my hurt to God. I asked for forgiveness. I gave him all of me. In exchange I asked God to show himself in my life. I asked him to reveal himself. I told God that I needed him. I needed to see his face. In exchange God showed up and was everything I need. God is so good. He’s so good. He surpasses all understanding. If you give him all of you, and you ask him to show himself, he will. All you need to do is ask and you shall receive. (Matthew 7:7) Be bold enough to serve a bold God. 
 
Today I received a call at church right when the sermon started from my boyfriend. I answered because I know he knows I am at church, I assumed the call would be important. He told me that he would not be able to answer me on the phone as frequently because he is going to Seattle. I took this as an emergency visit to Seattle because his head has been hurting lately and recently he recently found out that the tumor in his head has grown. When I hung up I called my dad and asked for prayer and just stayed in the bathroom trying to compose myself and just spoke to God. When I finished it was already closing time. I went to the altar at the end and asked a two lovely women to pray over my situation. I was so uplifted and have never believed that God can heal like he does to that extent. I just feel a restoration and a trust in God. I know he is in control and he is working. I just cannot see it at the moment, but I feel the grace of God, and the goodness, everywhere I go. God is so good. 
 
 Realize something different…
 
Today I encourage you to ponder on where you are in life.  You are not perfect. You have longings. You have emptiness. It is not your fault. These longings can only be satisfied by God. If you disagree I would just like to sit and have a one way conversation and just listen to what removes all of those issues. I have tried everything. Nothing worked. That is why I tell people that Jesus saved me from myself.
 
Today is a hard day. I am sad. I wish my boyfriend did not have stage 3 brain cancer. I wish I could remove all the hurt he is feeling, physically and emotionally. I wish his family did not have to deal with this. I wish I did not hurt. ..But I know that Matthew 11:28 says “Come to me, all you who are troubled and weighted down with care, and I will give you rest.” Today I chose to rest in the love of Jesus. The one gave his life for me, so I can live, and be saved by grace.
 
Love always, 
 
Yanira Vargas