As we prayed at our Thursday hour of power service, we got into groups of two and took five minutes to pray for the person standing in front of us. I went and prayed for my beautiful sister and leader of the Intercession Ministry. The prayer began with me just pouring out my heart’s desire for her and her family and it continued. Shortly after I stopped she began praying over me and there were specific things that just pierced my spirit. One of the words that she used was the word authenticity. Such a simple word, BUT a word with so much power and meaning. I was pierced by that word. The tears began to fall down my face and I was just soaking in that what she was saying. I said Lord show me how to be authentic in all that I am and in all that I do. I need to be genuine with my love and with my heart for Jesus. This relationship can’t be superficially and it is not, but how do I go deeper to keep that authenticity? How do I remain authentic as everything around me is changing? It is still changing and I am in a whirlwind trying to grasp my bearings through all this. Nothing stays the same and I have learned that over these last 16 months.
In a life that I thought hardly changed, or I should say it was constantly changing but the impact of that change wasn’t affecting me as much since I knew that I would share the change with him. We shared the weight, joys and tears of change together. Now I share these with JUST Jesus. That is such a hard transition for me. It’s a stretching that I never expected. I never thought that after 16 months I am still being stretched but this time it feels completely different. The feeling of numbness is not really there anymore. Now I feel each moment, each emptiness, each hard decision, each expectation. And I have realized that pain medication solely masks the pain for a time. Eventually the pain will come back until you are healed. I need to take this on without any type of painkillers, I need to be able to work through this with Jesus. He is the antibiotics that I need. I don’t need pain killers, I need healing. I need to understand who I am in HIM.
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” – Romans 12:9
Discovering who you are is not a bad thing. It is necessary. Who is Cristina? Not Pastor Cristina, not Mom, not daughter, not sister, WHO is CRISTINA? That is the question I have been asking myself these last couple of weeks. Who is Cristina now? I know that Cristina when He was alive. I know her in that facet. I know who I was with Tony…She was fierce, she was busy, she was a multi-tasker, she was a lover, she was a fighter, she was strong willed, she was happy – He always asked, “Are you a happy girl?” Many times with his childish yet giddy expressions. But in the end I knew what he meant to ask me and why he asked me what he asked me. He was always aware of the direction we were going and he wanted to make sure – Cristina are you secure in this, and if not how can I partner with you to ensure success. I need to make sure I guard your heart and keep what we have built strong and we are okay. I need to check in, “Are you a Happy girl?”.
Now I find myself asking myself – Cristina are you a happy girl? Are you authentic in your approach, do you know that God created you with a purpose, YOU! Not you in the dynamic of husband and wife in which you have known for 15 years. Was it good yes! Was it a blessing Yes! But yet He created you to be authentic. He created you to be YOU. Are you being you? Are you being a replica of who he was or better who you were with him? I can’t. I can never measure up to who he was or better yet return to the person that I was with him. That’s impossible. I was who I was with him for that season that God graced me. Take him out of the equation and who am I now? Who is Cristina? Can I still be pieces of who I was, Yes! But those pieces need more of the puzzle to be whole. I am still fierce, I am still loving, I am still brave and yet I have still so much more to discover about me. This is my journey to authenticity. The pieces are not all there yet but as I continue my journey, I walk with the assurance that I will never be him, nor will I ever fill his shoes (please don’t place that expectation on me either). The bible says:
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” – Psalm 139:13-16
Join me on this journey in becoming your authentic God made self!