Everyone has a story to tell. When we make the connection between our story and God's great story, we come away with HIStory, which involves each and every one of us.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
My life was dead prior to knowing Jesus Christ. I knew of Him, I really liked Him - so much so I wanted to be a nun. I prayed to Him, never knowing if His ears, His elderly ears, could hear me. Well that’s what I saw in the ceiling of St. Ignatius church in Chicago. This painting depicted God holding the world in His hand like a snow globe. An old man surrounded by angels and fluffy clouds. After all, my father believed in God. We prayed directly to God, before every meal and every time we got into our cars. Religion made us a proud bunch of sinners.
It all came crashing down, my religion that is, when from 17 to 21 my perfectly controlled life of being a good girl, disappeared, when I suffered depression, suicide attempts, and rape. I didn’t go to God, I felt cut off from Him because let’s face it, He wasn’t going to accept me, anyway. I was now broken, dirty and a sinner. The religious life I had lived obviously bypassed the gospel of grace. I remember having a conversation with my father around that time and asked him, “Do you think you will go to heaven or hell?” He looked at me with all honesty, and replied “hell.” I was shocked but knew that I wasn’t going to heaven either…
That was the end. I forgot about my want to be near Him - I realized I was apart. When I felt there was no hope about getting into heaven and being close to God, I quickly came to the realization, it, life, didn’t matter anymore. I left my values at my father’s house and quickly started losing my morals as well. I moved out at 22 - smoked so much weed that year I can play UNO like a pro, and quote Elf the Christmas movie like the back of my hand.
At 26, I finally gave up trying to get the only man I had ever loved to want me (he had been my best friend and played with my heart like a fiddle). I lost some friends (like everyone), stopped seeing a man 12 years my senior and started learning how to read tarot cards. That was the year I realized I needed to start looking for God or a higher experience, but it didn’t happen right away.
At 28, I finally broke down. I had been partying every single night for the last 5 years of life, dating men whose names I can’t recall, lying to myself and my friends about who I really was and I lost more friends. What was a social addict to do?
My parents had moved to Florida and my two younger sisters were living in California. As I cried about my miserable life, I opened my bible, yes I had one, never read it before that night, but I had one. I prayed and asked the Lord, “why? Why did my life and heart hurt soo much?” I started reading the pages I had opened to, and low and behold there I was, the adulteress woman. I broke. The next morning I decided to leave Chicago, and I know now it was the Holy Spirit that led me to move in with my parents. I went to South Florida. I ran away, I wanted change.
That Sunday, only three days after moving to Florida, I found Jesus. My heart bled, my soul cried out. I asked for forgiveness, for two weeks. I found true love, I found forgiveness.
My life since accepting Christ into my heart has been a roller coaster of miracles, suffering, revelation and victories (from Florida to Europe to Central America). I have been walking, running and have even been carried by Christ. This April will be my 6th year of living liberated because of Jesus.
I dedicated my life to serving Him and it has been one of the hardest steps of faith I have encountered. But God is such a good Father. Before I left Guatemala for El Salvador, He spoke this, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1) What?! Me? I think my heart exploded, He was telling me “Yes,” I did what I promised, My Spirit IS upon you. Oy vey, I cried.
I am 34 now, a missionary in El Salvador, living with twenty something’s, my bed is a bunk bed, and I couldn’t be more in love with Jesus and the adventure He has me on. He gave me beauty for ashes, where there was death and deceit. He rescued me, the adulteress woman and gave her redemption.
Lorena would love to hear from you. If her testimony has touched you and you would like to reach out to her she can be contacted at:
Facebook: Lorena Solorzano
Damaris U. Avila lives with her loving husband and their two inquisitive and sweet girls. Through personal storytelling, she invites women to share and see themselves in God's story. She leads young girls through BeYOUtiful Girl Time, a sisterhood where girls are encouraged to become the women God designed them to be.
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."