My Spiritual Journey: A Kalidescope of Colors
I am Jesulita de la Cruz. However, I prefer people call me Suzie to avoid different pronunciations of my name which are always funny. For more than 12 years, I have been a teacher in Junior High School. I was a single parent for more than 17 years, but God graciously sent me one of His servants to be my husband. So, now I am married and recently birthed another beautiful daughter. Also, I am studying at the Christian Leaders Institute to get deeper into the Bible and prepare for ministry (Learn more about online Bible courses, Click Here).
My Early Religious Environment
I grew up surrounded by family and friends from different religions. When I was still little, my grandmother used to read the Bible to me and let me borrow one of her children’s books that had colorful pictures and Bible stories. I used to hear the name of Jesus on my father’s lips, and he sometimes prayed for me especially when I was sick. My grandmother, my father, and my mother were from different Christian backgrounds. So, I got confused about where to attend church. Eventually, I no longer attended any of their churches to avoid arguments. I wondered as a young person, “If they serve the same God, why do they argue about their religion?”
My Way Downward
Since I didn’t attend church anymore, I was not able to hear the Word of God (especially after my grandmother died). When I saw people around me suffering and I myself experienced suffering, I came to the point that I didn’t believe in God anymore. I became an unbeliever. Not even a single prayer came out of my lips. I chose to depend on myself – on my own knowledge and strength. Because of that, my life became a really great mess.
God’s Grace for a Sinner Like Me
Though my life was a mess, I still did well in my academics and graduated with honors. I finished my studies and passed the board exams with a good grade after only doing a self-review at home as I had no money for a formal review center. As a single parent, I chose to spend my money on the needs of my firstborn. I entered messy relationships, hurt myself a hundred times, and was a drunkard. Yet, I managed to get out of those messes and live.
The Breakthrough and My Way Upward: Surrender at God’s Feet
I was engaged but he found out about the other messy relationship I was in. So, he decided to break up with me for good. I was so hurt because everything was planned, organized, and paid for. I went to the bar every night to drink the pain away, but it did not leave. Feeling dead inside and deeply broken, I heard God calling me.
I went home that night, crying. Inside my room, I felt weakness all over my body and soul and fell to my knees. My heart cried, “God, help me!” I cried even more. It felt so good to cry at God’s feet – surrendering all my brokenness and my messy life. In my surrender, I felt no condemnation. What I felt was His love telling me, “I loved you at your darkest.”
Getting Deeper into the Bible and with God
I started reading the Bible (from Genesis and Matthew) and did my devotions every day. I began looking for a church where I could be counseled and where people could encourage me in my walk with God. Then, I found this Christian church, and the pastor counseled me. Also, I became a member of a fellowship group and music ministry. This church supports the spiritual journeys of its members. They offered mini-studies that help us get deeper with God using the Bible. I enrolled in each of the mini-studies until I reached Leadership 113 which is a 10-month study. I graduated with the “Contagious Christian Award.”
Our Way to Be A Light and Share God’s Grace
After my break up with my ex-boyfriend, I became single for many months. I did not enter a new relationship. I wanted to strengthen my walk with God first and know Him even more in my life. As He revealed His grace to me, I started to see people and situations differently. So, I responded differently with grace and love.
I drove around our city looking for people living in the streets. I gave them food and prayed for them. When I saw beggars being shouted at and rejected, I bought food for them. Even in the school where I taught, it broke my heart to see students who did not eat during recess times. So I bought food in the canteen and secretly gave it to the students.
God’s Provision in my Scarcity
I am not here to share a prosperity gospel but to share that God is the Lord of all. There was a time that I had nothing to give anymore, and my heart cried over a child who had no school bag, wore worn-out slippers, had only a few notebooks, and had a hungry stomach during recess time. My heart was full of tears, and it flowed when I got home and talked to God in prayer. There has always been something in me to help those in need and use that opportunity to preach the Gospel and encourage them with God’s Word.
One night when I cried my heart to God in prayer, I hoped that He would do something. AND HE DID! Someone messaged me and told me that he would give a fund for the students in need in our school. I did not know this person, and he did not know me. We were just friends on social media, and I did not post any solicitation regarding this matter. God touched his heart to give.
We did a gift-giving after that in school. Many of the students were given school supplies, black shoes, and uniforms. Parents were also invited to the mini gift-giving program. Many people attended, and we took that chance to preach the Gospel and share the Word of God with them. Many accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Marriage and Family
My husband is an agent, and I am a teacher. Our salaries are just enough for our everyday needs. We do not even have a house of our own. We are just living in a small apartment right now, firmly hoping that God will give us our own house in which we will continue to build a God-centered home. Despite the very small that we have, we have a big God who sustains us every single day.
God is gracious that He gave me a husband with the same heart that God gave me – reaching out to people, helping with the very small that we have or with what the sponsors give, praying for others, preaching the Gospel, and getting deeper into the Bible and sharing it. This was the basis of our church in giving me the “Contagious Christian Award” because of what God is doing in our community through us. Also, my firstborn serves in the music ministry in our church as the pianist, and my husband serves in technology-related work.
Currently, I am a small group leader of women from different places. Since the pandemic happened, we meet online. Yet, what I noticed is that our fellowship grows despite the pandemic. Truly, God and His Gospel are unstoppable.
I also took the opportunity to lead our youth in the school where I teach. I began a small group in our school, with three to four members. Over time, new members came in and the group grew. So, now we are in a classroom to conduct the Bible study. The classroom is full of students who are hungry for God’s Word, with more students standing outside the classroom to listen.
How do I know that they long to hear God’s Word? Because the schedule of our Bible study is during the end of the day’s classes. They choose to stay and be fed with the Word of God rather than to excitedly run outside the school and go home. My heart is always in awe and praising God for the lives of these people.
My Heart to Get Deeper into the Bible
Though I enrolled in each spiritual mini-study we had in our church, and graduated in the 10-month leadership course; my heart longs for more. I long to know more about God. My heart and my soul thirst to be more equipped spiritually and academically to effectively minister to people and help them in their walk with God. That is why I am at the Christian Leaders Institute. The online Bible courses help me get deeper into the Bible. The theology classes, and all the ministry training are equipping me for ministry.
As an academy teacher, I can reach out to people. I also want to be a theology professor or a regular employee in our church. Then, I can use my skill in teaching to equip the people who want to learn more about God and the Bible for God’s glory.