We Live in a world full of sin.
We live in times of sorrow and distress.
We are all seeking the truth; seeking a way through our individual situations, and seeking the true Light of our Lives.
The Truth is Jesus.
The Way is Jesus.
The Light of Life is Jesus.
Jesus is the Beginning and the End (Alpha and Omega). Jesus has already overcome all of the battles that we face today. There are times when we become stuck, not knowing who we are in the 3 in 1 (The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit), and not knowing who God has called us to be; believing in God is the 1st step. Trusting Him is the next, and placing your faith in Him more and more— and trusting that He is able— is yet another step. We all must come to the conclusion that nothing is impossible for Him. Healing you is easy for God, as Jesus has already paid the price; Jesus wants you to cast all of your burdens unto Him, because He already has the solutions to our problems.
"He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes, we are healed." Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)
See, we aren't perfect, and Our Father in Heaven knows that; He has already provided us with His Grace, Love, And Mercy, when He gave His only begotten Son to be the atonement for each and everyone us.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)
He has given us such a precious gift, because of His love for us. How could we not praise and worship Him for the Love He has given us? It is only through His grace and mercy that we could hope for a better future in Him. To live like Jesus is to carry our cross too— instead of burdening our hearts with the pain of the past or the present. We should all strive to know the fruits of the Spirit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
Through Him, we shall not give the enemy any room to steal, kill, or destroy. What the enemy wants most, is to take you away from knowing and believing in Jesus Christ; because even the enemy himself knows how much power is in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I urge you, with all love, to run to your Father no matter what! I can't sit here and say that it's always going to be easy, but we are Warriors in Christ, and we must put on the full Armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-20).
Putting on the full Armor of God is knowing who we serve, knowing who we bow down to, and who we give the Honor and Glory— because the victory has already been won. Jesus said in John 14:12:
"Most Assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will."
Promises upon promises, victory upon victory, grace upon grace— He has given that to us.
Here's my Testimony:
My name is Ibelis Melendez.
I have sinned, and I am not ashamed to say it anymore.
I was taken advantage of. I was prideful, and I was obsessed with being respected by others. I opened doors and portals that I didn't need to; and I have lied to defend myself, or make myself seem more than I was. I carried myself the way I felt I should, but it was in all the wrong ways. I tried to be what I thought was truthful, yet I was dishonest with myself. I didn't have self awareness, but I was quick to know the false motives of others. I went to psychics and tarot readers, wore bracelets and necklaces of what I once believed will help me; when I was younger, I played evil games like ouija. In my heart, I always wanted to help others, but my idea of helping others was to defend them, even to the point of lying for them— or myself— to make the situation right.
I built anger and bitterness within myself. I wouldn't pay attention to real help, because I thought I knew it all. I didn't trust anyone, because I knew they either had hidden agendas, or God put them in my life so I can help them. I was comfortable with living like that; and I just continued to live my life with the thought of, "another day, another battle." I put myself on the back burner, in order for others to get ahead — because that's how strong my loyalty was. However, I was least loyal to God, and myself. I meant well, but didn't do well; I kept wanting to get ahead in life, but then, I would drown myself in defending others or myself— ultimately sinning in the process. I continued to look for resources in every direction; without looking to God for answers. I always believed in God since I have a family that does; but I didn't know the Word of God. Once I began to learn more about God for myself, I realized that I knew nothing. If you had tried to tell me that back then, I would have had an answer for everything. I always tried to fix someone else, believing that I could help; but once I realized just how much I had to give of myself, I began to hate my heart for loving others more than God, or myself. This caused me to make wrong decisions that would end up hurting me in the long run. I was continuously tired of not having anyone there to help me, when I would go above and beyond to help others. I didn't recognize that the Only one that could save me — or them— was, and is, Jesus.
I held onto pain; lying to myself that being a sacrifice for others is what was right. I allowed myself to be used a stepping stone, because I refused to be anyone's stumbling block. I allowed abuse, and suffered many consequences for it. I thought that how I was living, is what was right; however, that assumption was absolutely wrong. I continuously made decisions based off of what everyone else wanted for me; and I believed in myself to help them in their circumstances. Yet, who was helping me? I wore my heart on my sleeve, and I didn't know how to say "no." I constantly made my own plans on how I could build myself, but would be too fearful to follow them through because I didn't want to be alone. I knew exactly where to go for help, yet I still didn't go to God with all of this. Even through everything, God continued to show me favor upon favor, mercy upon mercy, love upon love, miracles upon miracles, blessings upon blessings, and Grace upon Grace from Our Father in Heaven; but I wallowed in the feelings of defeat and weariness. During this time, I still continued suffer from my own shortcomings, and I had no idea what to do with all the warnings I began to receive spiritually — this was a battle I had never fought before.
Slowly, my life was beginning to shift. I was bombarded with fear and doubts — not loving myself, not being a good mother, not being where I could have been, not having the stability in my mind I once had, remembering every wrong I've done, constantly asking for forgiveness. I quickly began to slip into a depression; into a dark place that I had never experienced in my life. It felt like a prison sentence. I constantly began to 'see' things (spiritually) that I had no business seeing. Soon, questions began to bombard my mind: What portal of Hell did I open? What is happening to me? Who am I? What (and why) am I seeing these things? Why are all these odd things occurring in my life? I began to feel like someone (or something) was watching me— I felt scared. It felt like something evil was constantly coming after my life. I thought I was dying. Mentally, it felt like I went into a different realm that I didn't know how to handle.
It was at that time, I decided to go to church because I realized that something big was happening to me— something that was not good. Finally, after so many signs, I remember sitting in my car with a cigarette and the Bible, and whole heartedly surrendering to Jesus; and asking Him to forgive all of my sins.
I would love to say that all of my struggles ended there, but they didn't. Not long after, my dreams, visions, thoughts became more intense; the thought of people are coming after me, and demonic spirits coming after my life grew. I experienced panic attacks, anxiety, and I felt like I was surrounded by evil. I continued to read the Bible, yet every time I turned to a scripture, I felt condemned. I felt fearful of the Devil, and of God. Talk about a double fear. All I knew was that I had to continue reading, and trusting God to be good— regardless of what I felt while reading the Scriptures.
I went to so many churches, and tried to speak to many different pastors, but I just didn't dare to push forward. However, soon the truth began to reveal itself. I soon learned that neighbors and people that I knew were trying to set me up; with many performing witchcraft against me. They began to defame me and try their hardest to taint my character; they dragged my name through the mud, and even my children were being attacked. My reaction towards these situations was destructive. I began thinking evil thoughts, saying things I shouldn't have, not walking away when I should have, and wanting to defend myself — but didn't know how. I felt helpless. I reacted in an ungodly manner because of this; and since I didn't have a close relationship with God, I didn't know how to fight this battle at all. My only time of peace was on Sundays at church, or by myself with God. I learned that when I isolated myself with The Lord, I tuned out everyone and everything— all the noise faded away. Everyone was still looking for me to help their situation, but in those moments with God, none of that mattered.
If you're going through something similar, my advice is to surrender to Jesus. It was through my surrender, that I began to transform my life. I still had to face the repercussions of my sinful reactions (as I had to deal with charges I had against me); and I had to learn how to deal with my own actions as how I had reacted previously was not of God. Instead, it just left me feeling unworthy. I was constantly fearing my decision making, doubting God, and fighting battle after battle with no break in between. Problems began to arise when I chose to follow God, and when I began warning friends that I'm not who I use to be— and that I have to heal. However, it seemed that none of my words mattered to anyone. I began to realize that the enemy was using them against me to try and shake my faith in Jesus. All I could think is, "I have to continue this journey with Jesus."
During this time, I felt weak and alone. I felt even more isolated for choosing Jesus. I was attacked even more because I wouldn't fight back the way they were use to. I was constantly told that I am not a good mother; I was called all type of names, and I was even told that they were going to kill me. I was called worthless; yet I know that all those things were lies told to me by the enemy, himself. The enemy wanted to bring me down. He wanted to bring me back into my feelings of hopelessness. So much so, that I was ready for my life to end. I was ready for someone to take it, so I could end this constant suffering.
Yet, there was still that faith in Jesus, that belief that I was more in Him. I understood that in Him, I was more than what I was going through. I believed that there's no way that I could possibly be attacked this much, if God didn't have a purpose or a plan for me. That thought alone allowed me keep going, to keep pushing through, even with all the slander. Through it all, I kept my faith in God, as it was the only thing that no man could take from me! I didn't care how others felt anymore. If you weren't talking to me about Jesus, I didn't want to have a conversation with you. Everything became irrelevant to me if it wasn't about Jesus; or, if you weren't speaking life into me, and I into you, then there wasn't any reason for us to hang around each other.
The pain that I endured and the sins I had committed, didn't come close to how the Lord made me feel— the wonderful things He showed me, the way He spoke to me, the way He defended me, and the love that He gave me. I never knew that kind of love existed. I will always be grateful for the healing He gave me and that He is still giving me; the gifts He has given me; the divine protection He gives to me and my children; His teachings of how to have the power to stand in a righteous way; and how to be obedient to Him. Knowing that He has already made a way for me— and for you— to have the desires of our hearts, is amazing. No sin is too big to be forgiven from our Father; this is why we have to learn the Word of God, and put on His Full Armor to know how to fight. This is why we we have to speak life over ourselves, and into others (Thank you Jesus for Pastor Kim reminding me again and again about what I must do). This is why we have to pray together, and for each other. We have to remember that the enemy has nothing on Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; for the battle has already been won. I always try to remember that the God that lives in me, is greater than he that is in the Earth.
Throughout my journey, I prayed to the Lord and asked Him to give me loving pastors that could help me in my walk with Him; that they would understand when I explain what I was going through, and they would be able to help me. In response to my prayers, our Lord Jesus presented Pastor James and Pastor Kimberly Bryan into my life. They took their time, and waited for me to feel comfortable enough to open up to them. At first, it was very difficult, but like a father would do, God assured me that I could speak to them. Still fearful, I would immediately run to my car after church. I would avoid most in person conversation. I would think to myself, "After all, they're pastors. What is the Lord telling them about me? Don't speak too much, and just cut the conversation short and Go!" But that didn't last long. Pastor James and Pastor Kim made sure they involved me. They prayed for me and my children. They continued to help me with my journey through their prayers, through scriptures of the promises of God, and their teachings. They would call me and check in on me and my children; and of course, it was always on time.
They had no judgements about me; but, instead, they understood that we are all peculiar and set apart in the Lord for a purpose. They were accountable for me— as we all are for each other. They truly want me to get to where I need to be in the Lord. They are truly God sent, and wear the Armor of God whole heartedly. Not only did the Lord choose them, but knowing He has chosen us too; to be who He said we are. Pastor James baptized me and my son, Jeremiah. I just knew it was the 3-in-1 baptizing me and my son; because still, 'til this day, I can't describe the feeling of abundant joy I felt. MPJGM is more than just a church building. The Lord chose our beautiful pastors to continue our growth in the promises of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior— to heal in Jesus' name, strengthen us in Jesus, grow us in the things of Jesus, and to continue our journey in Jesus.
Thank you Jesus for My Pastors. Hallelujah! All Honor and Glory be to you, Father God.