The beginning of a New Year is a natural time in the calendar for setting up new rhythms and routines. It's a time when we dream again and look toward the future. For some it's exhilarating, for others intimidating and we can give up on ourselves quicker than we should.
Our ministry friend, Angelique Burgos, shares with us her journey of tackling big dreams and accomplishing them. May her story be an encouragement for your own story.
If I were to encapsulate my life story in a few words, it would be this quote:
Even in a bad situation there's always a positive side even if you can't see it yet. (Susane Colasanti)
My life has been a story of many bad situations and bad choices. During those times it was difficult to see any good coming out of it.
Fourteen years ago, I encountered a lot of bullying, and I dropped out of high school. I was in a toxic relationship that severely traumatized me, and I did not know how I was going to move forward in life.
As my life spiraled, I met the Lord. At a Friday night service, I gave my life to Jesus. The feeling of love I felt from the Lord was so real and pure I couldn’t contain my emotions. It was a day I will never forget. And I also knew I had a long and painful road ahead of me. I wish I could say my life got easier but unfortunately it did not. There were many ups and downs.
A few years passed and I still didn’t have the confidence to achieve some important life goals.
At age 19 I met the man I would later marry. I shared with him my goal of getting my GED (General Equivalency Degree). He encouraged me so much. I knew I needed to get out of the funk I was in. I began attending a night school that offered classes to get my GED. Sadly, that didn’t t last long. The school was in a bad area of town and there were acts of violence. For student safety, the school shut down. A few months later I tried another school, but I was intimated by the workload and with all the anxiety and mental pressure, I quit. It seemed like failure was following me everywhere I went. The failures were clawing away at my confidence, and I began to believe the lie that I would never get my GED.
In the years that followed, I hit the lowest part of my life.
Fast-forward to 2017, I began the journey toward healing and gave my heart fully to the Lord. He brought my boyfriend and I back together and we were married.
At this point in my life, I felt more confidence than ever. I began my GED journey online. As I focused my mind and began my classes, I found out I was pregnant with our first child. I was so nervous. My mind became focused on my pregnancy. It was not an easy pregnancy. I put my personal goals to the side and focused on this new dynamic of bringing our baby into the world. I gave birth and within a few months I was pregnant again. I couldn’t believe it. I was still recovering from the first pregnancy. Now, more than ever my personal goals were not on my priority list. I gave birth to my second child and thought, “That is it for me.” Boy, was I wrong! A few months later, I was pregnant with my youngest. Yes, you read correctly -- 3 babies in 3 years! At that point I told myself, “I can’t do this anymore. I’m just gonna let these goals go.” I began struggling with thoughts of, “My only worth is in being a mom.”
Being a stay-at-home mom became my identity. I began shutting off the other layers of who I am as a person. I began making excuses as to why I couldn’t achieve my goals and dreams. The scariest part was I was okay with settling for less.
I want to encourage women who feel stuck and limited by their season that you are not bound by your situation. Don’t settle for less. Don’t identify yourself as one layer only. One thing I have learned in this journey is that God will always find a way to encourage and remind you of your purpose!
We created individual dream boards as reminders and encouragement to ourselves for achieving our goals and fulfilling our dreams. I brought my board home and hung it in my room.
Later, as I was reflecting on my dream board, God reminded me I hadn’t included “passing my GED” as one of my goals. I tried reasoning with God, “If you can help me accomplish a good portion of these goals, then I may have the confidence to attempt getting my GED again.” As you can tell I was a half-glass-empty thinker at that time.
And friends, I’m here to tell you God did give me the wisdom and confidence to fulfill a good portion of those goals on that board.
While fighting through these thoughts, I shared with my pastors, Tom & Cathleen Zahradnik, my desire to finish my GED. I owed past school dues to the online school that needed paid to complete my classes. The Lord put it in my pastors’ hearts to pay it in full! (Isn’t God good?) My pastors challenged me to complete my GED before the summer of 2023. I was in shock and afraid. My mom responsibilities of...
I walked by faith. And within five months of hard work and sacrifice I completed my GED! I am now a high school graduate! Not only did I complete my GED, but I was able to walk down the aisle with cap and gown — a dream I didn’t see happening!!!
It wasn’t just the completion of a rough chapter in my life but a beginning of something new.
My next goal is broadcasting a podcast. I want to encourage individuals to take life one day at a time and trust HIM in their everyday lives. Another dream of mine is writing a book about inner healing. I want to share my story and encourage others.
Friends, I encourage you to trust in the Lord. Those dreams, goals, and visions you may have placed on the shelf, I challenge you to bring them out again.
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