My God’s superpower at work!
I am often overwhelmed at church and I cry. This is pretty funny to my kids and my husband, as I tend to fall on the logical “Spock” end of the spectrum in almost all other areas of my life. I simply tell them that my feelings are so big they start leaking out my eyes. At a basic level, this is true but to be honest, there is so much more. When I look back at my God and the way He relentlessly pursued me while I tried to run like The Flash – far away from Him – I can’t but help cry.
I did not go to a Christian church for a decade. Ashrams and meditation centers were more my speed.
I was pregnant with my daughter, Kalia, and my then fiancé (now husband) and I were arguing over how would we raise her: Christian or Hindu. I panicked and realized that I wasn’t sure of what I actually really believed anymore. This pregnancy was unplanned and I had thought I would learn flamenco guitar, a second language, and have the religion thing nailed down before procreation.
I switched job locations to a new school site where all the science teachers were Christians and they hosted a Bible study. I started attending their meetings out of morbid curiosity and anger (that is another story for another time). Soon after, my dear uncle died of brain cancer, forcing me back to church for his funeral. I missed the space, the community, the feeling of God in the room. I cried so hard at his funeral for so many reasons.
I asked God to give me strength, strength to go back to church one more time. I said, “I don’t have strength to walk into the places of my youth. If I walk into the wrong church, I will never go back. YOU have one shot.” A homeless man gave me a printed prayer that was about grace. I googled churches near my home and the first church that came up was Sovereign Grace. I resolved to get my daughter and myself in the car and go. As I drove down the street, I chickened out and started to turn around. “I can’t do this,” I thought. “Not with what I have done or who I am.” As I looked for a place to make a U-turn, I turned on my car radio and a Christian station was on. Not sure how, but the pastor that spoke at my uncle’s funeral was on the radio. Talking about GRACE. “I hear you God. I will go.” I kept driving, and to church we went. I felt invisible, but I knew he was calling me and for the first time in a long time, I felt peace. As we sang, “Sin had left a crimson stain he washed me white as snow,” I felt hopeful.
Less than a week later, I lay in the hospital waiting to hear whether or not I needed exploratory surgery, I fought to stay conscious and understand the surgeons arguing over me. I glanced out the window and saw snow on the mountain tops (I was living in Los Angeles at the time).
I finally surrendered.
I had spent years trying to run away from God’s grace and acceptance. I had tried everything but surrender, I was almost laughing that it literally took me to death’s door to get the message, but I was here. Finally. Peace washed over me while I acknowledged that if I were to die, like the doctors were talking about, He would take care of my precious daughter and guide my husband. NONE OF THIS was in my control. I walk boldly in Grace now. I am overcome with gratitude for HE is inside of us always, no matter what we tell ourselves.
We are overcomers because he has overcome the world.
Leticia Perez is an outspoken introvert that readily walks in the seemingly endless contradictory nature God has woven her from. At Grace Church 2.5 years ago, Leticia felt God was calling her family to move to Wilsonville and attend Grace Chapel. They moved here 6 months later. Her Husband Will Huff and their two kids Kalia Huff (8) and Liam Huff (4.5) continue to teach her that God knows more than she does, she just needs to listen.