By Norma Guevara

normaguevarra@yahoo.com

My name is Norma Guevara. I was brought up in a home where Jesus was taught and the Bible is the word of God. I always remembered my grandma reading her Bible and praying. My real father left us when I was about 9 months old. I always wondered why he left. What was wrong with me?  Then when I was about 8 years old, I was molested by someone I trusted; and once again I asked myself, what is wrong with me?

It was time for high school. I met my ex-husband there. He was from the east side; I was from the west side. I went to Sunday school, he went to Mass. He could speak Spanish and I couldn’t. We were very different but we fell in love and we were married in 1957. We had three children and sort of grew up together with our kids. We were very close and everything was always family. We worked hard, bought a home and lived a good life.

After being married about 30 years something really terrible happened. I was teaching a Bible class with some girls that I worked with. This particular night one of the girls accepted Jesus into her heart. I was so happy and so excited to share with my husband. When he came in the house I looked at him and instantly knew that something was wrong. He said, “I need to tell you something.” He said, “I have to leave, I can’t live here any more.” I didn’t understand. I kept asking him, “Why, what happen, don’t you love me, what about the kids?” All he said was, “I know I am going to do something and I don’t want to do it behind your back.” I was in shock. It was like a bad nightmare. But in those few minutes I knew it was real. It felt like a death. Again, what was wrong with me?

I watched the truck go down the street. I went to the front room and picked up my Bible and threw it across the room. I screamed at God and said, “For this I gave you my life?! I will never serve You again!”  And I collapse on the floor crying.

Little did I know, it felt like the end of my life, but it was really the beginning of a new creation in Christ. But boy, did it take some time!  At my lowest point I really wanted to end my life. I didn’t think I could go on alone. But on the night I was planning to do it, I heard the voice of my little grandson call for me.  I heard, “Grandma where are you?”  I look back now and I can’t believe I could be that low over one man.  Oh well, I am a new woman now. Thank you, Jesus.

I started to SEEK answers from friends, different churches, Christian TV, counselors, self-esteem books, anyone who would listen to me, and God. After awhile, and after many, many tears, I finally learned it was My Heavenly Father who had all my answers!  I learned that His Word was my text book and He had the answers to all my questions. It didn’t happen overnight. I think I am a slow learner. He turned my tears and feeling of failure into one accomplishment after another. I started to REPROGRAM my mind to know that I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And because I learned to be obedient and learned that God could fill my void, I started to do things that I never thought I could do. In 1987 I went to city college and took a public speaking class. I cried the morning I was supposed to go to the first class.

I kept crying, “God, I am scared, I just want to go back to being a wife.” Thank goodness God had other plans for me. I went to the class and for a final grade I entered a public speaking contest where all the public would come. I was 48 years old and I, Norma Guevarra, won 3rd place. Through my walk with the Lord, the woman He created me to be gently came alive. Renewing my mind made me a NEW Norma. He says in His Word He will renew our mind, when we let Him do it. This was just the beginning of new gifts that I didn’t know I had been given. I then took a theater arts class. I had so much fun.

The next thing I learn was to LET GO of old things that God had told me to let go of.  That took getting out of my comfort zone. This wasn’t easy, I was really scared, but I learned to enjoy things by myself even though I wasn’t use to it. I had been married 30 years.  I found I could be content with myself. To value who I was becoming. He turned my loneliness into loving being alone. It wasn’t self-esteem it was Christ-esteem. I opened my heart at the altar to my ex-husband when we were married. And I will always love him. But I have learned that I am the temple that God resides in and I have learned to respect and to cherish me. My Heavenly Father taught me to love myself. This kind of love is not selfish; it is respect for the person that God created. I now know that the void I had without a husband was filled to the brim by my Heavenly Father. What people think about me or what they say about me does not make my self worth. It comes from God.

I am 71 years old now and God has so taught me God-confidence.  I have no fear to speak to one or a thousand people about what God can do with a woman who lived with unworthiness and rejection. Feeling she had to please every one. This is called Christ-esteem. Last night I spoke to a group of people about God’s words vs. the words that people speak over us. What did they want to choose and then how they could apply it to real life. It was awesome. The Holy Spirit showed up and touched lives.

This is just the beginning because “I know like I know” that God is using me. I am telling the world that our Lord is REAL.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away: behold, all things have become new.” 2nd Corinthians 5:17

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