Still I Rise

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Since losing my dad, I have been going through quite a trying time in many areas of my life, & even a bit of an over all self-examination.

He wasn’t there much of the time but he loved us none-the-less, this I knew. He would constantly send us letters and give us a call no matter where he was at. I never disliked him for being in and out of my life. A part of me was mature enough to understand from a young age, that time is short and there should be no room for bitterness. As a person, I was never one to harbor resentment no matter what anyone had done to me, and trust me, there were many occasions in which I was dealt “a bad hand” by the enemy to support such emotion. This is not to say however, that truly letting go, is anything easy, and quite honestly it is something only the Holy Spirit can edure – as freedom only comes through Christ. I also can’t say that I’ve never thought of retaliation in the heat of my battles, but I CAN say that when I got saved, Christ confirmed to me about the importance of forgiveness and also gave me confirmation time & again that “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” -Psalm 27:10. So if your parents have raised you up in the way you should go, thank the Lord! But if they haven’t (like myself), thank Him even more for calling you HIS. & above all else, LOVE your parents, your neighbors, your enemies and those that have seemingly left you behind. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:12. The enemy is hard at work causing division and strife and it will only get worse as the Almighty King prepares for His return soon. So while we are yet here, and along this journey through Salvation we are not exempt from being present during destruction, burden, fire & trials – both personally & for others according to His will, & we are most definitely not exempt from persecution – “is a servant greater than his Lord?”- John 15:20. The Bible has a lot to say that as a child of the Most High we are often acquainted with sorrow & if we are not constantly replacing ourselves with the mind of Christ, this will be tough to endure. “Our adversary, the devil walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”-1 Peter 5:8, especially in our times of vulnerability. He is throwing fiery darts left and right but “when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him”-Isaiah 59:19. So you see, our joy and our hope [sure & steadfast] comes from the Lord; provided we are sober & vigilant in the full armour of God lest we be taken back by the cares of this world & our flesh. “Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”-Mattew 10:16. Living for the LORD is The Way Everlasting, & HE is the only reason why I get to live at all. It is comfort, safety & strength to get through with a peace that surpasses all understanding. Romans 8:28 says “He works all things for good to them that love Him, to them that are called according to His purpose.” If our trust is in Him, He is our Strong Tower that we can run to and are safe, our Rock as a firm foundation that our feet stand on, and we can inevitably trust that His ways are higher. Our Lord will be here with us through it ALL, in fact, He says in Revelation 1:8 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” There is nothing new under the sun and He has the foreknowledge of our lives mapped out according to His will. He is faithful, just, and loving and He will NOT forsake us. Even though, we may have to live in this fallen world, we don’t have to be a part of it. That means we don’t have to see, think, feel or even grieve like the world. Becoming set-apart is not by our own doing, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:”- John 6:63a, it is listening to His voice, His Words.. as HE leads us through. He says “the Words that I speak to you they are Spirit and they are life.” -John 6:63b & because of this, he is our guide, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” -Psalm 119:105. He will always direct us in The Way of righteousness and gives us the tools to not grow weary in well-doing. If we accidently lose footing, His mercies are renewed each morning & no one can pluck us out of His hand or seperate us from His love as long as our eyes are fixed upon Him. We must not fear, for He is with us, and let’s be not dismayed, for He is our God and He goes before us. He WILL uphold us with His Righteous Right Hand; extending His Grace to all that come to Him and it is not always (if at all) in ways that we expect.

The other day I was minimalizing my “things” & going through old bins that I had lugged around to every new place I had lived in the past few years, thinking I had nothing sentimental, let alone any letters that hadn’t gotten lost in my days of old. During this cleaning escapade, I had came across a letter from my dad that was dated from 2015. I immediately had this wide-eyed gasp and opened it up. It was the last letter I had received from my dad and I wasn’t even aware I had it still. From the past, I remembered I usually would glance over his pen-manship in it’s unique awe, as he always did have a knack for writing but I never truly understood his words until this day. I mean, I was a wild adolessent lost in this world just as I had thought those letters may have been. What he had said was quite profound in timing, and beautiful in essence, and I decided I’d like to share it here on my blog:

“My dearest daughter Lorena,

I am so happy to have finally received your address by way of your tia. I am optimistic for you and your sisters well-being and I do trust in our Lord Jesus that you both are well. I myself am better than can be expected, reasons being I received Salvation through my Saviour Jesus Christ. I now walk in faith and not by sight. I no longer curse nor inhabit by body with negativity, after all, it is the Lord our God’s temple. I keep sound-minded, physically conditioned, and spiritually fulfilled on a daily basis. I’m currently taking Bible courses so that I may mature in the Spirit. I want to wish you my love, a happy birthday. I’m sorry I’m late and saying so but believe me, on the 2nd month and the 9th day of the year, I’ll never forget. I miss you so much mi amor, my eyes get watery. I know I never have been much of a father to you and your sisters and I don’t blame either of you for any negativety you might project at me, but if it takes me the rest of my life to somehow make it up to you, if not, then I’ll wait for you in heaven and proceed then. I want you and your sisters to be baptized as soon as possibe and I honestly won’t be able to make it up to you and your sisters if you aren’t, “do you understand” please I beg of you. Well one thing is for certain, my love, I won’t ever even let you or your sisters down anymore. I’ll take an oath right now never to do so. I aim to take advantage of what my Lord above has blessed me with and for your forgiveness Lorena Nicole Iragorri. Well my love, please oblige me, I’ll be writing to you constantly throughout this journey, rain or shine, winter and summer, day or night, won’t delay my correspondence. I want to get this letter out ASAP, I’ll be writing again in the next day or so. I’ll depart for now but know this, before I do.. love you forever and a day. May our Lord Jesus Christ bless you.

Love you always – Dad”

As you can assume, I was overcome with emotion. Without my knowledge, the Lord has made a divine intervention between my dad & I during the last few months of his life even though we never talked about our relationship with me as a child. Since I myself, recieved Salvation in March of 2017 and apparently I had no idea about my dad (it truly has me analyze the selfishness of our carnal minds) that when he got out of incarceration earlier this year; he and I had formed a bond like never before, and we had talked quite often over the phone. Naturally, I had expressed my new-found faith to him many times, and he had understood all that I was revealing within from my Spirit to His. We had similar views involving the Word, and above all were truly on one accord with walking this narrow path and the ways of the Lord. With no recollection of this letter at that time, I told him that although I never hated him, I forgave him and I loved Him with a love not of this world. I cannot describe the remarkable feeling it is to have a personal and spiritual connection for the first time in my adult life with a father that I never really knew – about a Father who KNOWS us ALL! Finding a gem like this, in my season of enduring, revealed to me just how much God loves me. I sat there crying out to the LORD and thanking Him for His tender mercies, for the chance to know Him, and to just be… saved. Without Jesus, without the Word covering us, replacing our hearts and minds, I wouldnt have been able to be about my Fathers business with my father on earth (and not just him but everyone I come across), sharing in the glorious grace we have received and come to know. I never did ask my dad about his testimony or how he knew what he did, but I somehow had an understanding that despite that, and because we were able to talk about Jesus constantly enough that I could hope that he is where I will be one day. I remember he told me during our last conversation 4 days before he had passed that I enccouraged him, and it was inspiring to hear me talk the way I did and that he wanted to continue on like this and perhaps study together. He even joked about being roommates.

Praise God.

I never made it to see him and the last time I did was 8 years ago, but as I sit here, I have no regrets about that and I’m truly content. It is not just because of this letter, but it is because I have no reason to feel sorry for myself when it truly is not about me, I am not my own anymore and “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” -John 9:4. I can be assured that “our light affliction is but for a moment that worketh us for a far more exceeding eternal weight of glory” -2 Corinthians 4:17. And as a result, I can continue to move forward in my journey.

The enemy DOES. NOT. WIN.

We are all continuously learning, having being revealed to us the patience and wisdom to get through this life. Going through the motions of not just refining who we are but WHOS’ we are, and THAT beloved, changes everything. It changes how we see others, including those dear to us. So although in this moment, I may grieve as a human…
I WILL rise again as the daughter of The King.

Praying for you always,
– Lorena

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2 thoughts on “Still I Rise”

  1. What an amazing story, I was so blessed to of read it. Your father was so blessed to of had you for his daughter. What a grand day it will be when you both reunite in heaven, what a sight that will be, pre-ordained from the beginning of time.

    Liked by 1 person

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