28 Oct Day 18: Stepping Out

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

Estefania’s Graduation Picture

As valedictorian of her graduating class, Estefania made a speech which summarized her past life, her future aspirations, and her very real anxiety about leaving.
“I never thought I would be able to overcome the things that happened in my life: the grief of being separated from my siblings and the daily struggles of getting by. I was very angry at life because of the loss and bad memories. I finally reached the bottom of the well, knowing I’d reached my human limit of endurance, and thinking there was no more hope.

That’s when the City of Youth entered my life. It was here that I received attention and care from wonderful people, for the first time in my life. It was here that I received the love of a father, a mother, friends, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters… something that I’d never known.

It was here that strangers, even without knowing me, helped me to recognize my own abilities and potential; helped me understand that we can’t always do what we like in life and that we should always seek God’s will.
It was here that I finally learned that not only do we live because of forgiveness, but we live to forgive. Finally, and most importantly, it was here that I accepted Jesus as my Savior, and from that point forward, everything began to change.

I’ll always be grateful for everything you’ve done for me, and for everything you are still doing. But now I’ve reached a very difficult moment in my life. I am graduating! I’m sad that soon I have to leave.

I always knew the moment was coming, but I did not expect it to come so soon. I confess that I am fearful. But I am thankful for the uncles and aunts here who helped me believe in myself. I learned to put all my trust in God, and I know that even after I leave, He will be with me, the solution for everything.
To my fellow students here, who are not yet ready to graduate, I say this: take advantage of every opportunity, because tomorrow it could be too late. Please believe me when I say that God has a plan for your lives!”
Estefania always wanted to work with children. Perhaps because she struggled so hard to keep her own siblings together and was not able to do so. Perhaps just because that was always her gift. No other graduate doted over Marc and Bella they way she did! Today she is a college graduate and an avid cyclist, and as a full time teacher, she is thrilled to be using her life to bless children every day.

We have a song in our heart for the successes of those who know what it means to be His and let Him take control of their futures. But today, let’s spend a moment in prayer for the children who are anxious about launching into the world without the support of a nuclear family. Pray they will feel the presence of the Holy Spirit guiding them and comforting them in their most anxious and lonely hours.