In this new series, called “CCS Perspectives” we will share stories and testimonies from a variety of our CCS Community members. It might be personal, or it might be school related, but either way, it will give God the glory for what He is doing or has done in one of our CCS family!
This first post is from our PR Liaison at McAlder Elementary (and also a CCS parent). Thank you Nicole for sharing your heart!
It All Makes Sense Now
By Nicole Ruiz, McAlder Campus parent and PR Liaison
Love came down… this is a phrase I will never forget. As I was pondering the December spiritual theme last month, I knew it was time to spill my heart and soul, in celebration of Christmas, and Jesus. And I decided it was time to share my personal testimony.
I grew up in church. I have gone to several churches, all of them were different denominations. I have always believed in God and knew I wanted a relationship with him. Unfortunately, God and I didn’t walk side by side for quite some time. I went to church, but I wasn’t all in. However, there are a few times in my life that I will never forget as long as I live.
The first day that replays in my mind a lot is a day I was a junior in High School. I was at church (by myself, because my parents didn’t go to church) sitting with friends. There was a guest speaker that day and he was relaying a message from God to us. He had called out a few people that day and talked about what their purpose was in life. Then, he chose me. There is no way this was staged. I was sitting in the back, behind some pretty tall people. I could barely be seen. I also didn’t know this man. I didn’t know we were having a guest speaker that day. He said, “Could the young girl with a dark red sweater on and short brown hair please stand up, I need to tell you something.” I was the only one present who fit that description! Again, I couldn’t really be seen by anyone from his angle.
His message to me was something I will never forget. I honestly never understood it until about five months ago. He told me, “Young lady, I have a message for you. I don’t know you, but I am compelled to tell you this. I know you have been struggling. I am here to tell you it’s going to be all right. You are destined to do great things with your life and with the people in it. When you get older, you will be around children, lots of children. Whatever you do, there will be lots of kids. You will be doing great things for those children and it will bring you so much joy.” I remember him ending his message to me with a prayer and reminding me that everything was going to be okay.
I left church that day feeling amazing. I knew I loved children, but wasn’t sure I wanted a career with children in it. I tossed around the idea of being a teacher, but I wanted to go to school to be something in the medical field. So, I wasn’t too sure what he was talking about. That day has always been in the back of my mind for the last 18 years. I have forgotten about it for a while, but then something in life happened, and it brought that day back.
You would think that is the day love came down for me, but it wasn’t. That day wouldn’t come for a while. Like I said before, I have always gone to church, prayed and walked with God, but only when it was convenient. I always told myself and God that I wanted a real relationship with him. I wanted to live the life I was destined for. Little did I know, that day would come when I was completely broken inside.
In September of 2017 I had made a decision that scared me, a decision that was going to devastate my kids and my family and I honestly didn’t know how I was going to do “life” from that point on. I had nothing left inside and turned to God once more. I told God that I am leaving this pain I had in his hands and I needed his help, that if this is the decision I am supposed to be making, then I needed help. I begged for signs left and right.
He clearly told me that the decision I was making was wrong. He told me to give it another chance. I hesitated for a month. In that one month’s time of waiting, the best thing that could ever have happened, happened to my husband and me! We were baptized! It was something I had always wanted to do, but never did. It was amazing! Every time I think about that day, and the days leading up to it, it brings me to tears. In September, 2017, I truly understood that “love came down” for me! I cannot talk about it without getting emotional.
As I sit here, I am thinking about the last 18 years, and I am thinking about that guest speaker’s message to me years ago. The piece I haven’t mentioned yet is that in July, 2017 I was honored with an amazing position at Cascade Christian, and I now work in a school filled with amazing kids, whom I adore. My relationship with the Lord is amazing. It is something I had longed for - for years. It’s not perfect, it is work in progress daily. However, I now know I had to go through certain things to get there, and it makes it that much sweeter! It all makes sense now.