Thursday, September 19, 2013

Our Trials Are Not in Vain

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners..... Isaiah 61:1

It’s really easy to feel sorry for yourself when you’re going through trails in your life. The one thing that makes me feel a little upset is when people do not understand what process God is allowing you to go through, so they judge you instead of really looking at the entire picture.  I do understand that many things, we place ourselves through because of the decisions we have made; but before God allowed His only begotten Son to die for us, He knew we would make those mistakes and take the wrong turns; but yet He still called you and me. There is a purpose in everything we go through, I believe. Have you ever wondered why is it that when you're going through a trial,  there is always someone coming to you needing some Godly counsel  in the midst of your storm?  

I've doesn't stop for everyone because I am going through a trial. God has to show me that what I am going through has nothing to do with me, but for me to learn so I can assist others to overcome what they are going through. How do you think you are able to speak such wise words in the mist of your storm?  Realize that even though you feel like God is not hearing you, He is; and He is showing you by bringing others that are hurting, so you can speak His word? We tend to overlook that. We think to ourselves: "why does God keep bring these people to me and I am broken myself"?  We must take our eyes off of self in order to understand the assignment God has for us. Jesus Christ placed His eyes on Himself for a second. He said: O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be doneIf he would have kept His eyes on Himself, we would not be here today. When Jesus allowed his focus to be shifted back to God's will, that’s when all that had to happen came to pass. Think of it like this: if I allow myself to be selfish in the time of my storm, I may hinder many women from hearing a testimony that can free them from their situations. How are we healed from many of our trails? We are healed because of the testimonies from many woman and men of God in the bible, and their testimonies still speak to us today.

Our trials is not in vain if we don’t allow ourselves to stay in that circumstance.  
We are over-comers by the words of our testimonies. As long as our eyes are on ourselves, those women that God has lined up to hear your voice will not get the opportunity to hear you. Do you think Peter really believed in His heart he would deny Jesus, not one, not two, but three times? But he did. Did you ever think you would be in the position you are in today? I’m pretty sure you didn't, but you are. Although Peter denied Christ, he didn't give up. The bible says: And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.” Yes he felt sorry for himself but he did not give up. He did not allow His past failure to keep him down. It may have taken some time but he continued to preach the gospel; and because he took his eyes off of himself,  many were healed and many accepted Jesus Christ. How would Peter have understood how it felt like to deny Jesus unless he went through it himself? You never know what God is preparing for someone. So before you start to play judge and jury over someone’s life, look at where God has brought you from and look how many times he had to bring you from that situation. Lift that person in prayer because the adversary does not rest. Your prayers do more than your personal advice.

My Testimony Marvin Sapp Lyrics

Written by Maribel Castillo


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Silent Treatment

Being ignored causes the same chemical reaction in the brain as being physically hurt

     I had the honor to meet a young woman through my Facebook a few months ago and we went back and forth writing to each other and finally we exchanged numbers. We got to know each other better through phone conversations and finally she felt comfortable enough to share with me her story. (And BTW, she was the one that asked me if I can write about this and I agreed. She calls me her ghostwriter (lol) This is not something I write in my blog, normally my writings are my thoughts, my life experiences and my relationship with God. But, I found this to be an interesting story and the reality of it-this is happening all across the world. This abuse does not exempt anyone, female or male - As I read the comments left in my blog and received comments in my personal email and also in my Facebook inbox, I realized this young woman was not alone, there are many more women/men out there that are going through the same abuse or even worse. It could be the sweet neighbor from across the street; your friendly co-worker; your sister in Christ; Your sister; your best friend; Your mother; or even your father or brother or even your friend in Facebook. I think for many is something that they don't like sharing for whatever reasons; it could be shame or fear of being judged. I had asked  "Cinderella" did you share this with anyone in your family, or your best friend??  Her response to me was, I told one of my sisters and this was her sisters response: what did you do to cause him to treat you like that? hmmmmm.....wrong response!   This caused her to keep silent and never to share with anyone again. How insensitive our words can be at times, we are so judgmental; We are quick to point fingers.  Not everything that happens to us is our fault, but people who know our past seems to judge our current situation from our past instead of really listening and helping out; instead they do more harm than good with insensitive comments. 

     At some point in a male/female relationship, the spouse or significant other may utilize one their favorite secret weapons which is called the "The Silent Treatment" The most common reason that a person uses the silent treatment is to punish the other person for misbehaving. How should someone react and respond to this kind of person? How does anyone determine if this is actually just a 'cooling off" period and not the silent treatment? I believe the silent treatment is a form of torture to someone that they profess to love. People who abuse others by using the silent treatment have learned that it works, so they use it over and over again. It makes the victim more frustrated than any other form of abuse and it allows the abuser to avoid any confrontations, any uncomfortable questions or subjects that they don't want to talk about and it gives them a way to get out of any accountability to their spouse and it is emotionally abusive instead of physically abusive and even worse because there are no scars that can be seen by an outside observer. 

     I, for one knows what it is to be abused, in every shape or form of the word "abuse" so it moves me with compassion for all those that are being abused, it is not a good feeling at all. Thank God that through my relationship with God, he has brought healing and has restored me to be able to share my stories and bring others to find healing in Christ. Healing and restoration does not come over night, it takes time and patience with yourself and most of all forgiveness - You need to learn to forgive those who abused you and forgive yourself for allowing to be abused. That comes hand in hand.    

     Many may not agree with what I wrote but that is ok; because its not about them, it is about doing the will of God. It is about being bold in Christ in helping those who are hurting and can understand what they are going through and lead them to find help. Many cries are being unheard, they are lost and hurting in the wilderness of despair and shame. In the word of God it tells us in Psalm 34:18: There are many of us - not all; God sends out to experience pain of a broken heart and to feel rejected; to know what it is to be hungry, to feel cold and live homeless, all that causes a crushed spirit. But God through all that brings healing and uses it to glorify himself and not man! He uses those very people who pass the test of life to reach out and touch others through his love and compassion.

     I thank God that I was able to meet this young woman and help her in ways that I didn't realize I was.  This young woman is now visiting a local church, received Jesus as her Lord and Savior and went out a bought herself, her first bible (to God be the glory).  She is now hungry to have a relationship with God. She thirsts for him.  It humbles me to receive her texts and asks me to pray for her or when I receive her phone calls when she wants to share with excitement how God spoke to her through his living Word - or when she doesn't understand something, I patiently explain to her what the Holy Spirit reveals to me through Gods word. She still is going through a process but she understands that through her weakness God's strength will help her move forward to the greater things that he has set out for her.  I believe that God is going to use her mighty in a world where many are living the dark secret of the "Silent Treatment"  

     To me, this was something unexpected, I feel honored and humbled that God did not overlook me because of my weaknesses or flaws, but instead used me to steer this young woman and place her in the path that leads to his Heart.  So, for now I will continue to feed myself with the living Word, quench my spirit with the refreshing of his presence as I wait for him to send me out - to my next assignment.   

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: Whom shall I send? And who will be for us? And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

Jesus Culture - Where You Go I Go

Written by Maribel Castillo
August 13, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

I'm Wishing On A Star (part 4)

Silent treatment is a method the abuser uses to 'kill' you for something you have done. In a sense, you have been psychologically 'murdered' by them, but your physical life goes on.

      As time went by and the silent treatment continued to affect their marriage and as any wife who wants to safe her marriage suggested for them to see a marriage counselor. But her husband refused and said he didn't have a problem and in turn blamed her for their rocky marriage and threaten to leave her if she would ask again. Several months went by and still, he seemed to think that everything was A-ok! But of course - it was his way or the silent treatment! After going through years of emotional depression, she started to feel anger towards her husband. She would wait for hours in the living-room for him to fall asleep and than she would lay next to him and would think; 'who is this intruder?" My God, who- is- this- man!! She didn't know him anymore, even his touch was different, his kisses didn't feel right, she avoided at all cost to have intimacy with him, everything about him would sicken her but part of her still loved him and wanted to save her marriage.

      Mr. Charming was so sure of his wife's love and devotion but nothing could have prepared him for what was coming to him. One day she looked out her window and there he was, talking on his cell phone inside his car, she hid behind the curtains and waited and waited and waited, after thirty minutes, he went upstairs. She was infuriated, she had no time to control her emotions, this time she didn't wait for him to use his keys, she opened the door for him and with a tone of voice that he NEVER heard her speak, " WHO WERE YOU TALKING TO FOR THIRTY MINUTES OVER THE PHONE!!!" Surprised, he looked at her and said; Be careful how you raise your voice at me!!! and walked away from her, she proceeded to follow him and scream from the top of her lungs demanding for him to answer her and he said to her, "if you continue, I will pack up and go!"  She turned around walked towards the door, opened it and said ...Don't let the door hit you from behind!!! Never expecting her reaction and response, he looked to her and paused for a few minutes but of course his pride took over and he walked out the door. She slammed the door and threw herself in bed and cried the whole night. 

      Morning arrived and she called out from work. Feeling all sorts of emotions, she sat down and looked around and saw all the pictures of the happy moments she spent with her Prince Charming, but she knew deep within her that is all she was ever gonna have. She use to love her husband with all that she was; even when she was angry at him or even when she was hurt by him, but her love stopped during the last episode or maybe the one before, she couldn't remember when her heart shut off the love valve. Maybe is was a gradual thing, no matter what-- the love was gone and this current episode just made her commit to not going back into the relationship. It was to late to fix what was already broken. She cried a little bit more, composed herself and went into the closet and pulled out his luggage and lay it on the bed and started to pack his belongings. This time as she walked pass the mirror, the woman looking back at her was stronger, more determined to take back her identity and self worth. She knew she was going to survive and move on. When she was done packing up all his stuff, she sat down and started to write him a letter......

Dear Prince Charming, 

I remember the night as I was strolling in the park, I wished upon a star to be found by my Prince Charming and live happily ever after. I believed in fairy tales, I believed in love and I believed in You. I trusted every word you spoke when you profess your love and promises on our wedding day. As time went by, little by little you broke all your promises. In the first year, when you first pulled the silent treatment, the more I wanted to fix it. I noticed how you would get such a satisfaction watching me squirm to try to get your attention and speak to me. It was like a real EGO Boost for you. The more control you had,  the less I had; I was sinking deeper into low self esteem, depression and lots of anxieties. The worst part of it all was when you were ready to break the silence, you would start talking like nothing was ever wrong, you ignored the problems and kept up a front. With you, there was no rhyme or reason, it could of happen at any time and it would go on for days, weeks or months and your rages were mind boggling and yes to me that was a punishment. A loving and caring husband does not give his wife a silent treatment. A loving husband listens, communicates and respond back and engage and participate in conversations, even if they disagree; they still treat their wife with respect. The silent treatment is never about love. There is a saying that the worst thing you can do to someone is not hate them but to be "totally indifferent" to them. If you hate them at least you care enough to hate them. But when you are indifferent to them you really DO NOT CARE at all. Abuse is Abuse. And abuse is never ok. In one way though, the silent treatment is far worse than other forms of abuse, because it indirectly says to you that you are not a person, you are an object, you are invisible because they choose to make you so because you are not worthy of their time. THAT is one of the most hurtful and abusive things to do to another human being. It is a horrible feeling, being ignored and denied affection. To me it was an emotional abuse instead of physical abusive and even worse because there were no scars that can be seen by an outside observer. And that is what you did to me for years. So, how does one reason with someone like you? but I am convinced that the truth is- you can not reason or gain any ground with you and your actions.  It is a "no win " situation and I won't waste anymore of my life trying to make it work. Unfortunately, the “silent treat” became our “marriage killer” it sabotaged what could have been an amazing marriage.  So, with all this said I just want you to know that I am moving forward alone and the best part about it is - I WILL SURVIVE!!

Sincerely and relieved 

I will Survive- Gloria Gaynor

Written by Maribel Castillo
August 12, 2013

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I'm Wishing On A Star (part 3)

She no longer knew the man she married; he became a stranger in her house.  

      Mrs. Charming continued to do her everyday role as a loving wife and doing everything in her power to do the right things and say the right things to keep her husband happy, she finally felt a ease because her husband showed no signs of indifference with her.  He continued to wine and dine her, sending flowers to her job; texting her love messages; long romantic walks in the park; preparing candlelight dinners at home, it was all as it should be, a loving and caring husband tending to his devoted  and trusting wife. This blissful happiness lasted for a few weeks until one day, she had prepared a romantic dinner and was waiting for him to arrive, an hour went by; two hours went by. This was something he never did, so she became concerned and called his cell phone but it went directly to voice mail. She waited a few minutes and called again and still no answer. Now as a trusting wife, she thought the worst happen to him, so after attempting several more times, she left him a voice mail expressing her concern as any caring wife would do.

      Four hours later, she heard his keys opening the door and she walked to meet him at the door, as he opened the door, with tears in her eyes and worried, she asked him with a concerned voice "where were You"; "I was so worried that something happened to you" ;"why couldn't you call me to tell me that you were ok"; "why was your cell phone off?" ..............(bad mistake) As she looked in his eyes, there it was the same sharp, stern look and with an annoyed voice he said: "I don't have to tell you nothing!!" and walked straight into the bedroom and locked the door behind him. In disbelief, she just stood there for a few minutes and cried. After she composed herself, she went by the bedroom door and was asking her husband to please open the door, but he never responded. 

      That night, she laid in the sofa and wasn't able to sleep and kept questioning herself  "what did I do wrong? was I wrong in asking? Should I have just waited? The next morning as he was preparing for work, she walks over to him and says 'I'm sorry, I was wrong, please forgive me" but he kept ignoring her and walked out the door and left her feeling hopeless and confused. She was so emotionally drained that she called out from work and all day she was hoping to receive a text or phone call from her husband but he never did. She was feeling so desperate, she didn't know what to do, she didn't know who to call, she was in a state of confusion. Insecurity was eating her up, she thought she was failing as a wife. She kept blaming herself. and thought that maybe she was just over reacting. 

      As the time was getting closer for her husband to arrive, she prepared dinner, showered and put on a pretty outfit and waited for her husband to come home.  It was now an hour later from the time he normally would get home, she started to feel anxious, she walked back and forth throughout the house; looking out the window; checking her cell phone for texts or voice messages, but nothing. Three hours later and still no sign of her husband, oh how horrible this feeling of not knowing where he was and why he would not call. To ease her anxieties, she went and took a shower again and as she was getting out of the shower, she heard the door open, relieved that he was finally home but nervous, she took a deep breath and came out to greet her husband.  As she went towards him, he walked right by her without looking at her and closed the bathroom door. She began to cry as she stood there in disbelief, but hurried to heat up his food before he came out of the shower. When she heard the shower turn off, she prepared his plate and when he walked out, she said "honey, your food is ready"  but he walked into the bedroom and locked himself in. Her desperate reaction was to run after him and started to bang at the door, pleading for him to listen to her, but his silence said it all. This time his silent treatment did not last for just a few days, it went on for over two months. 

      During those two months for her was pure torment, it was like living a horrible nightmare. She wouldn't eat, she couldn't sleep, she cried all the time. She blamed herself for his behavior towards her. She felt as if she was not good enough for him. Her days  became long and lonely. When she would look at herself in the mirror that confident woman was no longer staring back at her, the one staring back at her, was a fragile woman being sucked into a life of an emotional wreck, she was full of pain, insecurity, doubt, unloved, self-pity and fear. She no longer knew the man she so desperately loved, he became a stranger in the house.  So, after two agonizing months, he came home from work one day with a bouquet of flowers, a bottle of wine and her favorite food. As she was standing there a total mess, not knowing how to react, he walked over to her and kissed her and hugged her and she responded with "I am so sorry" and he took her to the room and she never asked about the incident that caused his silent treatment. 

This silent treatment lasted for several years until be continued...

Stranger in my house with lyrics - Tamia 

Written by Maribel Castillo
August 10, 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013

I'm Wishing On A Star (part 2)

She surrender herself completely and totally to her husband with no reservation of fear or shame.

      Off they went as Mr. and Mrs. Prince Charming, to a romantic get-away honeymoon. Their first night as husband and wife was an experience she will never forget. As they arrived at their suite and she unpacked, Prince Charming opened a bottle of wine and handed her a cup as they toasted their first night celebrating their union. She in turn slipped into the bathroom as she bathe herself in a sweet aroma of bubble bath and creamed her body with a silky soft scent lotion. She was a bit nervous as she dressed herself in a silky white lingerie and added a touch of lip gloss and a touch of powder in her face and sprayed dots of her husbands favorite perfume. That night was her first night that she would let anyone see or touch her body. She worried if she was going to be able to fulfill her duties as a wife to a man that was obvious had life experiences. Full of mix emotions, she took a deep breath, opened the door and walked out and as she look at her husband, his smile and the approval in his eyes eased whatever she was feeling. He dimmed the lights and put on their wedding song and led her to dance. His embrace and touch released in her a feeling of trust and full surrender. She surrender herself completely and totally to her husband with no reservation of fear or shame. They interlocked as one as he held her close to his heart and she fell asleep safe in his arms.

      For the next several weeks  their honeymoon was a time of shared love and happiness. He treated her like his queen, everything she wanted was granted to her. He made her feel loved, cared and protected. He would speak to her with kind and loving words, his touch was always gentle and oh - his smile would start off the butterflies in her stomach. She would fall asleep with a smile and wake up with a smile. He became her everything! She had married the perfect man. 

      Four months after their honeymoon, they were getting ready to go and celebrated their four month of marriage, she stumble over his pants and as she picked it up, a piece of paper fell of his pants pocket and she notice that there was a telephone number but it had no name, so she brushed it off and continued to get dressed.  In the restaurant,  as they were waiting for their food, they were drinking a glass of wine and she remembered the piece of paper and questioned her husband about it.  The look in her husbands face was a look that she never saw before, immediately he stop from smiling and with a tone of voice that she never heard before, he said "it it none of your business!"  Confused by his reaction, she apologized and throughout the night, he hardly spoke a word to her and never attempted to even look at her. She didn't know what to do, she kept asking herself  - did I ask the wrong way? was my tone disrespectful? All through the ride home was silence, such a silence that she could hear his breathing, even his breathing was unfamiliar to her, because she never heard him breath that heavy. Though she didn't know why she was apologizing, she did again, but he never responded.  He pulled into the driveway and slammed the door behind him and walked straight into the house, leaving her in the car. This was something she was not use to because he was always a gentlemen. For a few minutes she stayed in the car to compose herself and then walked into the house and still confused as to what she did wrong, she apologized and he again did not answer. He went into the room and closed the door behind him and left her with her words in her mouth.  This went for for several days, she would apologize and he will ignore her as if she didn't exist. All she did was cry, she cried taking a shower, she cried back and forth from work, she cried herself to sleep. Crying and more crying was the only thing she did. She became an emotional wreck.

      She missed her husband dreadfully, she was living a fog of confusion, the pain she felt was unbearable at times. Then one day, her husband walked in from work and reached out and kissed her. And of course - all she did was cry and say..."I'm sorry" and his response was taking her to the room and closing the door behind them. Finally, things were back in order in their marriage, she again was feeling his love and nothing else mattered to her. They never talked about the incident and life kept going on as if his silent treatment never happened. 

That is what she thought.......but ......(to be continued) 


Written by Maribel Castillo
August 9, 2013 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I'm Wishing On A Star

Every young girls dream is to be like that fairy tale story of Cinderella and marry their Prince Charming

        There once was a young girl whose dreams was to meet her Prince Charming and live happily ever after.  This young girl lived in a small 2 bedroom apartment with 3 siblings and her parents. In those days when she was growing up, there were a lot of financial burdens that prevented them to live a lifestyle that every child would have loved to live.  But this never stopped this young girl to dream of one day marrying her Prince Charming and be swept away in a white carriage and into the sunset. Her dreams always kept her wishing on a star that one day it will become a reality.  But, as time went by painful events in her life caused those dreams to fade away

      But one day, as she strolled along the park being captivated by the beauty of creation, she noticed from afar a handsome young man staring at her. She bashfully continued to walk, but was impressed with his smile.  Soon after, her curiosity of his smile made her look back and there he was- still staring and smiling. Embarrassed, she started to walk fast and went home. That night, she sat by the window and looked up to the sky and wished upon a star and hurried into bed in hopes that nightfall will soon become day.   As daylight broke, she hurried and did all she had to do and came home, showered and put on her prettiest dress and left to take her stroll at the park. 

      As she walked the same path, there he was again smiling at her. It was as he was waiting for her to come back. She became very nervous and didn't know what foot to put in front of the other and also the butterflies in her stomach wasn't helping either.  This went on for several days until one day as she walked by and looked to the area where he always stood, he wasn't there; she paused and continued to walk away.  As she walked, she noticed a shadow behind her, so she looked back and there he was; standing there with a smile and a rose in his hand. Shy but happy to see him, she accepted the rose and they walked and talked along the path where he first captivated her heart.  From that day on, they became inseparable. He became her Prince Charming. He said the right things, did the right things and promised her a rose garden full of joy, happiness and everlasting love.  She was living out her dream of the fairy tale of Cinderella and Prince Charming.  Nothing made her as happy as her Prince Charming did.  He showered her with whispers of love, passionate kisses and expensive gifts, everything she ever dreamed off and more.  

      The day of her dream of becoming Mrs. Prince Charming arrived.  Oh how beautiful she looked and how everyone was mesmerize by her beauty as she walked down the isle in her pretty white princess dress.  Her heart leaped with joy as she saw her Prince Charming with the smile that stole her heart, waiting for her to arrive to meet him at the altar to profess his love and be united as one.  As the stars in the sky set the scenery of love, she danced the night away with her Prince Charming, oh how much love was in the air; oh how he made her feel as his eyes penetrated through her beauty; oh how his tender kisses made her feel desirable and his gentle touch made her yearn for more and his soft whispers promising her an everlasting love that made her feel as if she was the luckiest girl in the world.  As she looked up to the sky, she thanked God for her wish come true. 

But nothing could have prepared her for the nightmare that was ahead of her.....(to be continued) 

I'll Always Find You In My Heart

Written by Maribel Castillo
August 8, 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Beauty of Your Presence

"My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest" Exodus 33:14

As I sit here and look around, I am engulfed by the beauty of your creation, feeling the warmth of the sun that is surrounded by the intensity of the fluffy white clouds, the calmness of the river that sends out the fragrance of your presence and soothes my spirit to full surrender. As I sit under the tree and look up and watch the leaves as it dances in the essence of your presence, it stirs within me a desire to be part of this beauty. As I close my eyes, I inhale your fragrance of your peace, my spirit within dances and exhales the power of your love. My eyes see the wonders of your hands. My heart beat as one as I hear the whisper of your voice through the breeze that I am also apart of your beautiful creation!!! "Be still for I am here and in the midst of your pain, I bring peace for I have not left you, nor have I forsaken you. Forget the former things; Rejoice, for this is not the end but the beginning of something new !!" 

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past, See I am doing a new thing! " Isaiah 43: 18-19

I wrote this inspiration this morning, as I remembered my time spent in Liberty State Park yesterday. God has a way of doing things in our lives that many around us will never understand or even ourselves for that matter, but one thing for sure - God always comes with a refreshing word to ease the pain and bring things to fall into place according to His will and His timing. 

It is not yet time for the message to come true, but that time is coming soon; the message will come true. It may seem like a long time, but be patient and wait for it, because it will surely come; it will not be delayed. Habakkuk 2:3 

One of things that I have learned in my process is to surrender it all and not ask questions. Letting go and letting God has been my greatest achievement in my walk with God. I may never know all the answers to my questions, "as to why it had to happen? or why things have to end this way? "But, I trust God enough to know that He is the Author and Perfecter of my life.  God has never given me more than I can't handle. Though there are times that the pain and sorrow may be unbearable but I always come out of it stronger and more determined to serve God with the intensity of obedience and a willing heart to serve him and go wherever He asks me to go. I don't know how this chapter of my life will end and who are the people that God will allow walk this journey with me, but again, I trust God enough to lead the way. 

And He said unto me, My Grace is sufficient for  thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest up me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

I have learned to be still and listen to His sweet whispers as he gently soothes my spirit from all anxieties and worries. His presence casts away all fear. He leads me from crooked paths and into the path that leads to his heart. I have learned that through my weakness; He has shown himself stronger. While others walk away, casts stones and judges my flaws; He gets even closer, picks up the stones to lift me higher and uses my flaws to set others free. When I feel alone and abandoned; He reminds me, I have never left you, nor have I ever forsaken you. When I have fallen into the deep waters of despair; He throws at me His life saving anchor of Hope. When I feel I have lost the battle; He tells me, this battle is not yours, but mine! When I feel defeated by the works of the enemy; He reminds me, I have given Power and Authority to put the enemy under your feet. When I hear others cursing me; He tells me, I turn those curses into blessings and yesterday again he tells me; Rejoice, for this is not the end, but the beginning of something new!!

 As my Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love..This things I have spoken to you, that my joy be in you and that your joy may be full. John 15:9,11

In Conclusion: I understood what God was telling me yesterday, not everyone that has been in my life, will be or is part of God's plan for my life in this new season. Like the Word of God says in Matthew 12:30; Anyone who isn't with me opposes me and anyone who isn't working with me is actually working against me. As painful as it is, decisions have to be made "BUT GOD" has a better plan, this much I know. As I look forward with anticipation and with much expectancy, I will continue to seek God more than ever. Kneeling at the foot of the cross, laying at the threshing floor and receiving words of wisdom and setting the table to those who are also hungry and needs to be fed the word of God. Allowing the Holy Spirit to fill me with God's living water so I in turn can quench the thirst of others that are now living in a barren land.  So as of now, I will continue to run this race, looking forward for the price that will lead me to an everlasting life. And to God be all the Glory !! 

Here In Your Presence -New Life Worship

Written by Maribel Castillo
August 5, 2013 
Inspired by: The Beauty of God's Presence

Saturday, August 3, 2013

God's Grace Covers Me

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of GRACE, that we may receive mercy and find Grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

My blog is about my journey of brokenness and blessings. It is about finding treasures in the darkness. It is about growing in my faith when it is hard and the darkness wants to consume me. It is about my hope in God and finding him faithful and learning to praise him in the good times and the hard times. 

Yes, my journey has been and is of brokenness and blessings, I have found treasures in the darkness and I have been surprised by Grace and my life has never been the same. In times of brokenness, I began seeking God in a new way and He began to show me what I would call treasures in the darkness. God's word became a wonderful place of healing and a source of strength for me.  God began to whisper into my heart " Be still and know that I am God. I began to listen to His voice and I began to recognize it. Verse after verse would begin to flood my soul like torrential rain. In Deuteronomy 32:2 it says: "Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, life showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants" That's what God's word began to do in me. 

As God began healing my brokenness, I realized that the pain would never go away, but that God would instead use the pain in a new way in my life. As I have begun to move through the difficulties and the ashes of these past few months, I realized that I had been surprised by Grace. I had found treasures in the darkness. In Isaiah 45:2 says: "I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name" I began to hear His voice above the sounds of the storm calling my name. The promises of God would take my brokenness and show me blessings!! 

God was also showing me His Grace in many new ways. It seemed as though God was offering me a gift and this gift would be new eyes to see, a new heart to love, a new mind to understand. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and He saves those who are crushed in spirit. Yes, that was me....broken and crushed! I am learning that He uses my pain, trials, suffering, brokenness-whatever you want to call it, to invite me to experience his Grace.  He wants us to tell our stories. He is not looking for perfect people. He is looking for transparency, having an open heart to let Him move in. He wants our raw, broken, but yet gutsy and bold stories. You see, we all have a story, God is writing stories in each of our hearts. He is writing a story in me. Each time, I wonder exactly what He wants me to learn and do with it, but I am excited more than ever that He is always up to something good! I am being surprised by Grace each and every day and that is a good thing because: The Lord, My God is with me, He is mighty to save. He delights in me, He quiets me with His love, He rejoices over me with singing ~ Zephaniah 3:17.

In Conclusion: I have come to full understanding that God does not waste my pain, but I am not a bit surprised by that, because it becomes a blessing. Blessings that I never looked for. I have had many opportunities to share my story lately of my journey of brokenness and blessings to so many women that God has put in my path, it seems to spill out of me what I least expect it. So, that is the gift, the treasure and the blessing " The Grace of God" 

Grace..... by Laura Story

Written by Maribel Castillo
August 3, 2013 
Inspired by Isaiah 45:2

Hello God, It's Me

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

Hello God, it's me Maribel

I called  You again tonight, to talk a little while before I get ready for bed and want to share with you my today's anxieties and worries. I also ask you to give me another good night of restful sleep, Father give me the peace of mind and the ability to relax. 

Fulfill my needs for mental and physical restoration so I may wake up ready for another beautiful day, which I hope You will allow me to enjoy.  I want to ask you to please keep my family safe and sound, that you may fulfill their lives with your purpose and protect and guide then through their life's journey.

Give me faith, Heavenly Father, when I wake up in the morning and face the world and not to worry over things, I can not change in anyway.  I thank You for being home and listening to my call and for giving me such a good advice when I stumble and fall.

Your number, My Lord is the only one that answers every time; I never get a busy signal and never goes on voice mail.  So thank You, My Lord for listening to my troubles and sorrow....Good Night...I love You, too and I will call again tomorrow and in peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, My Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

Nicole C Mullen - Call on Jesus 

Friday, August 2, 2013

My Love Letters To God

You show that you are letter from Christ...written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. {2 Corinthians 3:3}

Many times when I’m overwhelmed, it’s hard to know what to say to God or how to even begin.  I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about things and sometimes, when I can’t think things through, I get quiet inside.  Knotted up, I would push through my day and just get things done.  So, a few years ago after reading the Bible I decided to write a letter to God and ever since my intimacy with the Lord has grown and I began my own personal scrapbook journal.  I now address Him in my journal as “Dear Abba Father.”

Something intense happens when I write a letter to God, before I know it, I’m writing him a letter and I can’t stop the words from flowing. My mind has so much to say, but my writing can’t catch up to my thoughts, it’s amazing! My emotions poured forth, spilling over from my heart’s reservoir of love. Somehow the very act of writing—my thoughts on paper— releases an outpouring of feelings before unexpressed.

Yet, this experience really should have come as no surprise. After all, God is our supreme Lover, our great Romancer. He knew that a wonderful way to woo His beloved and express His emotions was through a love letter, the Bible. He knew that “letters mingle souls,” and He gave us His heart-print in ink so that we would have the joy of reading, pondering, and tracing its testimony over and over again. Because the spoken word is temporary, God blessed us with a lasting testament of His passion.


Every time, I read the bible, I cherished the love letters I receive, and I wait with excitement to receive them. I would read and reread them. I would sprinkle them with perfume, cut it and paste it in my journal. I enjoy them because they make me feel loved. — because someone thought enough of me to write to me, because someone took the time and effort to reveal his inmost, passionate thoughts, because someone trusted me with the greatest gift of all, his heart.

It is the gift of my whole heart that God most desires—a heart without pretense or vanity; a heart in all its honesty, beauty, passion, and brokenness; a heart beating with love, joy, sadness, delight, doubt, pain and even anger. True love expresses all emotions, and true love—God’s true love for me. The most beautiful way I have found in which to wrap the gift of my heart is within a letter. Love letters are “our heart on our sleeve, our battle standard, our essence, our un-erasable signature, our emotional fingerprint, our private well of memory…our true secret self.”

It is our hidden self we most long to reveal. My love letters reveal my truest essence—my soul made visible in all its intimacy and complications. I cannot help but love God because He loves me; I cannot help but write to God because He has written to me. I take the time to write because my Lover is worthy of my efforts. I write because, though physically unseen, God is real, and writing draws me closer to Him. I write because I desire to offer Him more than a hurried “I love You” on the run. I write because I long to embroider my passion with a flourish of my pen, an embellishment of my heart. I write because my spoken sentiments are passing, and I desire a permanent way to preserve my thoughts. I write because God values my prayers so much that He says He sprinkles them with incense and saves them in the “golden bowls of heaven.”

Conclusion: My ups, my downs, my victories, my defeats, my adoration, my apathy, my faith, my doubts, my questions—and God’s responses—are recorded in my journals. These entries are love letters from my heart to God’s—messages from His heart to mine—letters sent special delivery to and from heaven that have changed my life on earth. I sign my letters in ink that will one day fade. But God signs His in permanent ink—the blood of His Son shed for me, blood that covers my imperfection and allows me to pray openly to Him.

Whitney Houston - Jesus Loves Me .

Written by Maribel Castillo
August 2, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

There Is No Other Love

Amarte Solo a Ti

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. (Jeremiah 31:3)

I remember a few years back when I first heard this song, it was a time that I was in such a desperate need of being loved and accepted by someone who clearly was not able to give me what I needed. It was a time that I didn't understand who I was in the eyes of my Heavenly Father. I didn't know that I was a Daughter of a High Ranked King, The Great I AM!!  The One who sits on his Heavenly Throne, who set me apart to do greater things and to be loved and honored as such - A Daughter of a KING!! 

As far as I can remember there was always a feeling of void in my life and at my early teens I realized what it was. I met my daughter’s father and what I thought was love opened in me a hunger to seek and want more of it. We were both young, inexperienced and definitely it was not love but it felt good, it felt like a high that you didn't want to come down from, but soon after this feeling became a painful reality that escalated to adulthood; “The need to be loved”.  This reflected in my personal life, especially when it was being involved with a man. What I didn't realize back than, but what I have learned today is that no one can love you like our Heavenly Father does, but it took me years of seeking in all the wrong places and to all the wrong people. I was at the lowest of the bottomless pit of low self-esteem, and oh my the insecurity was sucking me dry, and to top it off the feeling of being rejected was a constant reminder of the worthless feeling that came with all those tormenting parasites that was eating within me the Love that I posse in Christ.

The day I heard this song, I was on my way to humiliate myself to a point of accepting unfaithfulness just to have a least a drop of love- and as I was driving, this song started to play and I sang it from the top of my lungs, and a desperate cry for help came from deep within my soul, asking God to make me strong,  to not allow me to belittle myself every again, to teach me how to love him and him alone and again I started to replay that song and I kept singing it until I felt the presence of God come upon me and I made a U-turn a block away from where I was going and never looked back – I mean NEVER , EVER looked back!! My life was NEVER the same!! I put closure to that relationship and that’s when God became my first, my last and my everything!

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Proverbs 8:17

The feeling of being loved and wanted is an emotion that God blessed us with from the beginning of time. God has chosen women to play an important role in the past and He continues to do so today. God intended for all of us Women to be loved, honored, respected and treated like a Queen.  Like the bible tells us - Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her {Ephesians 5:25}- Wow that is the most amazing feeling to be loved like that - because that is "Unconditional Love."  God didn't intend for us to be limited or conditioned by the love of a man.....For the Word of God tells us in Genesis 2:22  - "Then the LORD God made a WOMAN from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man."

You see ladies, when God created man, He formed man himself and breathe life into his nostrils. "BUT"......for the woman, HE fashioned us after he breath the breath of life into man. ..WOW!! God..."Fashioned US"....because our nostrils are too delicate. God didn't want man to interrupt His perfect creation, so He put man to go into a deep sleep, so HE can patiently and perfectly "FASHION US". God choose the rib, which protects the man's heart and lungs and supports him, as we are meant to be. God shaped us around this bone, He modeled us, and He created us perfectly and beautifully. He formed us strong, yet delicate and fragile, he provided protection from the most delicate organ in a man, his heart. We were not taken from his feet, to be under the man, nor were we taken from his heard, to be above him, We were taken from his side - to stand by man and to be held close to his side.   When God sees us, he sees a perfect creation, his beautiful splendid woman of excellence!!  He fashioned us by his holiness, His strength, His purity, His love, His protection and support. We are an extension of GOD!!  WE represent the totality of God, so that is why man is commanded to treat us Women well, to love us, respect us, for we are fragile. Because when a man hurts us, he hurts God, when a man crushes us, he crushes God and damages his own heart.  

That is why today and I pray that as long as I have breath, I will speak of God’s mercy and grace and most of all HIS Unconditional Love, a love that has set me free; the love that has shown me the value of who I am. God’s reflection of love is all over me. A love that created within me “self worth”; a love that makes me stand in confidence and walk in freedom, a freedom to Love myself!  I love MY GOD… Call me crazy, because I am crazy in love with my living God!  

To Conclude: Throughout the bible, we read and experience the Love God had for women and how he valued them and He is still urging us women today to value ourselves and take our place and allow him to love us, to transform us, to make all things new within us.  There are many of us even today, that are probably reading this that are still searching, yearning and desiring to be loved, but I came to bring Good News; God’s love is not measured on our size or appearances or our status quo. God's love is based on his own LOVE for us when HE gave up his ONLY son to redeem us. And as I mentioned before throughout the bible, God used his beloved creation WOMAN to show humanity HIS heart. God’s love is eternal, everlasting and all YOU have to do is call on him and allow him to restore and make you whole again.  And once you experience this kind of love, this AGAPE love, you will never, ever accept or settle for mediocrity love.  It is all or nothing!!

I thank God that today my life is a testimony and a tool that GOD uses to reach out to women that are where I once was.   

Written by Maribel Castillo
June 27, 2013