By Crystal Munoz
My parents were in the middle of a divorce. My dad was attempting to kidnap me at gun point and I could see my mom in the rear view running toward us, trying to save me.
That day remains vivid in my mind and is the starting point of several crumbling life choices, traumatic experiences, and a total loss of my sense of security: alcoholism, inappropriate relationships with men, abortions, defining my identity in relationships, codependency, physical abuse, partying…I literally did it all. But that was before Christ. Before Jesus, I lived for myself, searching for life where only death could be found. In my eyes God was for those who already had their lives together. I, very visibly, did not.
Nowhere Else to Turn
So there I was going through yet another traumatic, dramatic breakup from an unhealthy, codependent relationship. It was then that God allowed me to hit rock bottom. I was alone, unable to function on a daily basis, and, for the first time, experiencing panic attacks—no longer confident in who I was. I had friends, fun, everything that is supposed to make you happy but I was not, and was barely functioning on a day-to-day basis. Because she could tell I was circling the drain, my mom visited and suggested we go to church—a rare occurrence in my family—so, feeling utterly numb and hopeless, I agreed. What could it hurt? I had nowhere else to turn. We visited The Rock, a nondenominational Christian church in San Diego where I was living at the time. The only thing I can remember from the experience is that there was suddenly an extremely refreshing peace that came over me. In all of my chaos, God comforted me.
Leaving Lukewarm Behind
After that, I had one foot in the church but still kept one foot in the world. I was still not living for God, and still maintaining inappropriate relationships until I moved to Dallas and my aunt suggested I check out a young adult ministry at her church—The Porch. JP challenged us to give up your “playground and playmates” and it suddenly hit me what I needed to do to turn my life around. It was at The Porch that I learned that Jesus died for all of my sin; He made me new and I didn’t have to be “clean” to come to Him. With Christ I could have life; not this half-in, half-out world in which I was living. I didn’t need to be ashamed of my parents or my abortions or my drinking or my inappropriate relationships. In God is where I belong. Ephesians 4:22-24 encourages us to pursue a new life in Him. “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
God’s Transformation in Me
God has since begun a transformation in me. I am focused on Him, attend The Porch every Tuesday, joined a community group, and am now a member of Watermark. I recently completed Equipped Disciple 2 and am seeking recovery from my abortions through the Someone Cares ministry. I am running toward Christ with other believers and finding security in Him.
His Word guides me, and helps me when I am weak. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm to you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” When I doubt, I lean on this verse, so much so that I’ve had it painted on a canvas in my room so that I can be reminded daily of His faithfulness. I’ve never been so joyful and felt so much peace in my entire life. I am finally striving for the kind of life God wants from me—one fully devoted to Him.