God is bigger than your sins!

My life is full of sins, but if i told you about them all i could probably make an entire book! Yes i know, it is terrible. It is a part of me i wish didn´t exist or at least nobody knew. But i want to be open and honest and show you the very imperfect person i am. And for that i´ll tell you about a sin that has been especially hard for me to deal with. I hope you are sitting down, drinking a cup of coffee in the comfort of your house, in case you get terrified while reading the very sinful story of my life.

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The story starts with a boy. He was new at school and he easily turned into a friend for me. He was so very fun and intelligent and most of all he had a sensibility i never saw in a guy before. After some time of knowing each other we went camping with school and he told me he liked me in a more than friends way. Unfortunately, even though i adored this guy, the feeling wasn´t mutual. I saw him as a very good friend, just that.

Time made us more than good friends, we shared a bond that is hard to describe. We made a lot of fun of each other but we also spent hours having the most meaningful conversations on the phone. But even though we were very good friends this guy didn´t really give up on loving me as something more. I remember sometimes i wished i could make him happy but i guess i was too afraid of love. So we continued like that… we lived many incredible things together and shared the deepest parts of our hearts. But time passed by, and sooner or later this guy would end giving up on me (how not?). He started a relationship with one of my friends and i was actually very happy and relieved. But things didn´t go as good as i thought. His girlfriend wouldn´t like him to talk so much with me, so our friendship started to suffer a bit. It was so very hard for me cause i didn´t have any another friend that was quite like him, but i had to hide my feelings and try to continue with my life.

I did, and for many months it more or less worked. We just talked some insignificant words when we were around. It was hard but it was okay, this guy deserved to be happy with her. But slowly, we both started to talk a bit more again, we were both happy but it was difficult trying not to cause any problem for that. For some moments i said to myself it wasn´t right to be close to him and so we would stop talking again for several months. But eventually we both came back to each other. It was a cycle and i didn´t know how to get rid of that. I guess my heart wasn´t so strong.

There´s so much more in between these years, but i guess you are wondering what all of this has to do with my sin. So i´ll go to the point. He broke up with his girlfriend and came back to me. I was so scared and confused, and we both tried to stop it, but our hearts didn´t seem to listen to that.

I worried a lot over that and carried it alone cause i knew it wasn´t something good, i couldn´t share it with anyone. It was a time of so much confussion. He said i should start living and give a chance to love for once in my life, so after so many doubts i decided he was right. I also deserved to be happy and to love someone.

Some days it felt really good, but some days i felt as if we didn´t deserve to be happy together. Not because we didn´t love each other but because there was someone who could get hurt through it. But unfortunately i was so very weak and unmature that i couldn´t stand that.

We just couldn´t believe that after 3 years we still had feelings for the other one, so i started to think maybe he was “the one” and finally took the decission to give it a try. We both agreed that this would take a very long time, we would wait for at least six months (we were both going to live abroad for some time) and after coming back we would tell our friend and start with all that.

It wasn´t a very good plan, but i tried to make myself feel better thinking things like “no one chooses who to love” or “we can´t fight against true love”. I know they were just excuses to keep me sane, but i believed them and so they worked most of the time. 

But this plans never took on march. Unfortunately (or maybe luckily) our friend got to know it and so everything crashed. I remember i was out of the city while it happened so i didn´t know anything about that. When i came back and realized what happened i brought into tears and didn´t stop crying for a week. I felt so so ashamed and sad that i didn´t know what to do. We never did anything serious and we just saw each other like 2 times after he broke up with her, but anyway i knew it wasn´t something to be proud of.

The worst of all is that i realized instead of just me being sad (like it was previously), i ended up causing the three of us so much pain. For days i didn´t feel like myself, and my family didn´t know what to do to make me feel better. I felt so broken and i didn´t understand how something so “innocent” and pure as love could cause a situation as disgusting as that. I felt as the worst person alive.

After some days i knew i had to face what i´d done. I talked to my friends but i knew there was no way to justify it. I felt they would all hate me from that day on. I thought my life was not going to be the same after that. And i must confess that in some way i was right. I felt like a different person, i felt embarrassed of myself and so unworthy of God´s love. For many nights i couldn´t sleep and i prayed i could go back on time to erase all that. But i obviously couldn´t; the people i hurt was already hurt and i couldn´t forgive myself for that. It was a sin made out of love, but it was still a sin. It took years and lots of prayer to start forgiving myself.

I still would change things if i had the chance to go back on time, but as hard as it may sound, i don´t know if i should. It has burdened my heart for a very long time, but it is also a part of me now. Not because that´s the person i am, but because of it i can choose to never be that person again.

For a long time i let my sin define me. I labeled myself as a “bad friend”, “horrible person”, “weak girl” or any other negative adjective i found. But now i know all those labels weren´t right. The only label we should identify ourselves with is as “humans”. That´s why i don´t see “good” or “bad” people. I just see people. I see humans who make mistakes, but who also have goodness inside of them.

So what i want to say to you is that our sins don´t define who we are. Sure they mold and shape us, but they will never determine us. Even though i still pray every night i wouldn´t have caused pain to anyone, today i can say i am trying to learn to be grateful for my sins. Of course it is still something i regret and a part of me i´m very ashamed of. But thanks to that sin i´m totally sure i would never do something like that again!

So as weird as this could sound, i learned to love my sins because they remind me i am a human. I love my sins cause they make me understand better the sins of others. I love my sins cause they taught me my true friends still see me as a friend, not as a sinner. I love my sins because i know they make me fight everyday to become a better person and remind me about the unconditional love God has for all of us.

I must admit that some times i still think of my future husband and get afraid of telling him this cause i think nobody would love me after knowing that part of me. But please. Don´t let your sins scare you and stop you from living your life. Even though there will be people who unfriend or reject you, be sure you will also find people who will see more in you than that. People who will think you are still worthy no matter how big you have sinned.

Just imagine if we never sinned. Maybe we would consider ourselves perfect and never try to become better. Maybe we would never surrender to God. Sins help us to be humble and realize that God is so much bigger than any mistake in our lives.

I hope after reading this you won´t be too scared of the person i am. I honestly wish no one knew this part of me, but i wrote it down praying that this ugly and sinful story will make you feel better in some way. It´s not a post to encourage you to sin, but it is a post to encourage you to forgive others and forgive yourself. We all sin, but we can´t let sins define who we are. I don´t want you to go months and months without sleeping, hating yourself or going through the hell i lived that time (thinking you actually deserve all that).

Instead, just think that if even God forgives you, why wouldn´t you forgive yourself? Our sins are there to remind us we need to go in the other way. Don´t stay inside of them, open the door and let them go away, and work hard everyday so they will never ever come back again.

You are so much more than the mistakes you have made. Don´t get stuck in your sins, the beautiful thing about life is that we can always grow and change. We all have a past and have made mistakes, but as i said.. it is the past and God forgives us every day. 💛

P.S. I want to say sorry to anyone i have ever hurt. Even though i can´t erase my acts, it is because of you that i want to try again and become a better version of myself.

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Son-flower!!!

There is something about sunflowers that always make my soul sigh. I love their yellow tones and the way they grow, so tall and strong as if they wanted to touch the sky. They are my favorite flowers, not only because they are inordinately beautiful but also because i can learn a lot from them.

In spanish they are named “girasol” (turn to the sun) cause they literally need to turn towards the sun, otherwise they cant grow. And i think the same happens to us; we also need “rays” to grow, and those rays come from God. But, when we stop seeking God, when we focus on our problems, our past, our mistakes or what we dont have we cant grow. It is when we keep our gaze towards Him that we remember how blessed we are and we start to grow. 

When sunflowers feel they arent getting enough rays of sun they need to turn around. They continually move cause they trust the sun. So just like sunflowers, we need to trust in the “Son” and turn back to God when we arent receiving enough light. 

Of course sometimes it´s easier to stay in our place, sometimes we feel afraid from the things that happen in our lives and we paralyze. But the truth is, when we choose to stay in our comfort zone we get far away from our “sun rays” and we dont grow.

We need to let ourselves be led by God; sometimes it will require difficult moves but we need to trust the purpose of the direction He is leading us to. Cause it is through it that we will be strengthened, that He will make us develop into something as majestic as sunflowers. For me, they are nature´s poetical way to express adoration and faith. And i love that in fact, they look themselves like the sun, with each of its petals resembling the rays. So just like them, i also want to resemble the Son, i want to be firmly planted and in constant search of the light.

I WANT TO BE A SON-FLOWER. 💛

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“World Youth Day” is not only a “day”!!

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Today marks a month since i came back from Poland, where i attended the World Youth Day!! My friends and family have been asking if i´ll make a post about my time there, but to be honest i´ve been avoiding writing this down. Not because i didn´t want to share it with you, but because i feel there´s nothing i could ever say that would make justice for what i experienced those days.

I don´t know if you ever felt that way about something…but somehow i feel scared of reducing such a wonderful, deep and spiritual experience into simple words. But now i have come to realize that even if i can only share a bit of it with you, it is worth it. It doesn´t have to be perfect or complete, it just needs to be honest. So i will speak out of my heart and share with you some impressions from my WYD time.

I must start saying the trip was absolutely perfect in every way. The fact that it involved things like waiting one hour in line for simply taking a shower, using a backpack as pillow and sleeping on the floor, walking miles and miles for getting breakfast, waking up early and sleeping very late, collide with massive crowds and doing a big effort to fit inside the bus or tram, sweating a lot and constantly looking like a mess don´t change this statement at all. 

I know it could sound as if it was a tough or uncomfortable experience, but let me tell you one thing…while i was there i didn´t think about this at all. God was so evidently present during this time that those little things were completely blurred. 

Beyond that, the trip consisted of all i could dream of and more… things as meeting wonderful people from all around the world, attending a multitude of masses, eating insane amounts of chocolate, ice cream, apples and bread (and more bread), visiting breathtaking places, watching sunrises and sunsets, learning about history, kayaking, renewing my baptism vows, singing and dancing without control, showing up on TV, trying the most delicious food, visiting museums, listening to local legends, speaking out my heart, living in different homes, going to the sea, learning new songs, taking photographs, visiting historical places and cities, seeing the Pope, going to concerts, enjoying the sun and the rain, praying in the most sincere way, visiting our Lady of Czestochowa, meeting a talented “catholic illusionist” and watching his show, having the most wonderful polish “parents” and “grandma” in the world, learning words in different languages, meeting a dear friend i haven´t seen for so long, laughing deeply and encountering with God…..just to mention some. 

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Deus Meus concert.
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Kayaking adventure.
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Singing and dancing at the Missionaries of Charity.
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Friends in the train.
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Holy Mass.
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Learning the “Belgium dance”.
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Works of Mercy: feeding the hungry.

In fact, i could write a whole book about it, but if i had to sum up my trip i would define it using one simple word: FAMILY!!!! The trip made me feel i belong to something larger and greater than i will ever know, and trust me, there´s nothing as powerful as being part of a family brought together by God. 

One of the most special moments for me was during the last mass (with at least two million people standing by my side) when the WYD hymn started. I was singing in spanish (and the bit of “polish” i learned) while some people next to me were singing the same song in english, german, french, portuguese and other languages i couldn´t even recognize.

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Millions of people united in Love.                                                                         Photo credits: @jornadamundialdelajuventud

As the hymn went on i closed my eyes listening to the people around, and i thought to myself “this is how heaven must be like”… people from every race and tongue united as one, singing and worshiping God. It was the most beautiful melody i ever heard, because it was created by a family which, despite all the different languages, was singing with the heart. 💛

I think for an instant in my life i knew exactly what 2 million people were thinking about, what 2 million people wanted. I became one with them and realized we were seeking the same thing: we all wanted to encounter with Christ!! Words will never describe the love, peace and faith that i experienced there… it was sublime!

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We are called to bring light to the world!
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Our group during the Night Vigil.

The trip constantly reminded me that even though we may have different cultures or languages we all belong to the same family. It reminded me how easy it is to break the ice with just a simple smile; how singing, cheering, dancing and high-fiving are universal ways to bring people together; how any place can turn into a party (especially if there are mexicans in the act); how every meeting is a “spark of friendship”!!!!! 

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Singing, dancing, cheering… all the time.

But what amazed me the most, is that i´ve been reminded how alive is our Church and how many young people have the same desires that i have. It reminded me the joy that being a catholic brings, that even though some people may see religion as something “boring”, “cold”, “rigid” or “old”, there is nothing true about that. World Youth Day reminded me how alive we are and how faith should be a celebration all the time. When i was there i could see young people everywhere and the streets were filled with excitement, music, colors and waving flags all the time. Every single place was swirling joy. You cant imagine how awesome it was.

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The colors of the world.
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Brazil, Germany, Poland, Israel, Canada, Ireland, France and Mexico all together having fun.

That´s something i miss a lot now that i am again at home. The first days back at university were a bit strange… I was walking in the aisle, wondering when will somebody come to give me a pin, a prayer card, friendly words or a high-five… but there was nothing like that. I must say it was hard, most people didn´t even look to the eyes; people seemed uninterested about their own “brothers and sisters” around. 

World Youth Day atmosphere is what i dream the world would always be like; people going out there smiling to “strangers”, cheering each other and seeing friends in everyone. For me, that is exactly the spirit of catholicism, the spirit i dream we would always outshine. But the truth is that our attitude is not always reflecting that. The joyful testament of faith we all manifested in the WYD is not always what we share in our own place, where we constantly let individualism reign. 

I know we are immersed in a world that can easily vanish this cheerful faith, but we can´t let that happen. We can´t let our routines make us forget the call that Pope Francis made to all of us. We can´t “vegetate”. Not anymore!!!!

What we are called to do as a Church is to make everyone experience this supreme joy we experienced in the World Youth Day. We need to be friendly and merciful, live our faith with enthusiasm, keep our hearts young and make everyone know they are loved; not only during this “big events” but in our daily lives. 

So, after a month of coming back i feel confident to say World Youth Day didn´t end for me yet. Actually, it has just begun!!!! Now, more than ever i am convinced that together, as a family, we can be the change we wish for the world. I´ve been encouraged by the Pope to bring love and hope to the world. I´ve been blessed to live this experience so now i am called to share it with the world, to spread God´s message just like the apostles did 2000 years ago. 

So, to all of those who were there too, and also those who weren´t there but share the same wish, i pray you experience the WYD spirit in your heart for the rest of your life, that you wont let it die. I pray that this wont be just a trip that forms part of our memories, but a constant way of living our lives. I pray that we stay firm in faith and don´t let the world take away our enthusiasm. 

Cause the truth is, we will never change the world just by going to the WYD or to the church, in order to change it we have to BE the Church. I pray that we all exemplify and let the world know that our Church is not old. That we remember our Church is young and alive, and that it needs our joy!!!!!!

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Jesus, on the center of our lives.

My trip to Poland taught me a lot about the power of community, and it is safe to say that I left a piece of my heart in this country that i call now “home”. I’m amazed, inspired, and incredibly grateful for the people God placed around me.

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My new family.

So to all my new “family” members…Dziękuję!! THANKS!!! I honestly can´t think of anything better than exploring the world, celebrating my faith and spending intentional time with people as amazing as you are. You have impacted my life more than words can dare to explain. Thank you for teaching me so much. I pray with all my heart that our family will be evidence of GOD´S MERCIFUL LOVE. 💛

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Filled with joy. This is the youth of the Pope!!!

Note: I want to make a big shout out to Sergio Platonoff, my wonderful and talented friend who took most of the pictures posted here and captured the adventures of the trip. Thank you for letting us keep these memories!!!