Blessings to all that are viewing this. My name is Christina Cruz-Mendez. I am a Pastor at Mission United International Church in Yonkers, NY working along side my husband Juan A. Mendez Jr. Senior Pastor. We have been together for 27 years with 2 children that God has blessed us with. Makes us the family of four - "JusChrist4". I have been a Christian and active in ministry for about 19 years now. Through all the rocky and smooth roads in life I am eternally grateful that God has brought me this far in life to share with the world what He is doing in me, through me and for me.
If I had my own theme or rhythm for the New Year…. its just that— NEW! Let’s celebrate!
Entering NEW! All things NEW! New land, new ground, new territory, new relationships to build and new perspective. Going to embrace it. For this 1.1.21 I am in flight! Reaching my new ground and finally our new home!
It has my name on it!! Isn’t that sweet! At 45 I have attained something in a whole new STATE! I wanted to scream. Because the anguish and turmoil to get to that point! Who can really know that but the ones going through that?
Everyone has their own story and steps that they take in their journey. Ours certainly wasn’t simple too, you can imagine. We kept saying… “why can’t anything just come easy for us?” Well on the day—that finally was for me.
I waited for the word— it’s done. That’s what I waited for. And my-my, it was a long wait. There were MANY times where I felt myself slipping into a black hole. I didn’t feel so convinced, nor did the situation look convincing at all. We just knew we had to keep following up and following through.
I would never know as well just how much no update is the worst update! And the days kept passing. It didn’t look like it was gonna happen. Fear starts to grip you & paralyze any faith. But what a way to close DOUBLE on 12.30.2020! Now we get the new thing. More than ready! More than grateful! Just truly rejoicing! We secured our new home!
“I am convinced that my God will fully satisfy every need you have, for I have seen the abundant riches of glory revealed to me through the Anointed One, Jesus Christ!” Philippians 4:19 TPT
This year for 2021, I wish you the newness God has promised us with. I wish that He will satisfy your every need, even the ones no one knows. May you experience abundant riches of faith, grace, joy, love, peace, laughter, health, victory and all the new that you need to make it through!
What an unprecedented season that we all have entered. I must say… unexpected, uncharted, unscheduled and very much unplanned. That was what our lives was looking like even coming to the close of the year when we hoped to be literally free and clear by now.
That hasn’t quite yet ended yet. We are still in the midst of the unknown. How uneasy and very much unsettling. For us at home –this even meant “our home”. Surely we thought we would be all moved and settled in by now in the next location but sure enough –another day turned into another week and another month and still in this year we weren’t even sure it would happen for us.
We put our home of 20 years up for sale … to leave the state! Offers came flying in immediately. Our plans and parting shortly followed, only to be interrupted by days of disappointment. Encouraging each other was running thin and encouraging myself certainly had its limits.
So I did what only I knew I could do… missing my family as we set “our plan in place.” I decided to decorate anyway! I was surely devoid of the season right before my eyes. Families at home, together, sharing and merry— and us we were miles apart in unfamiliar territory. We were in the trenches, no matter how you looked at it. This long awaited process was wearing us all down on the inside as the days grew to weeks.
I encourage others all the time in harsh experiences— DECORATE YOUR SEASON anyway! Just! Like! That! Go on and celebrate! Bake a cake! Get the ornaments! Make what you can happen HAPPEN! Move! Keep going! Then it happens to you and hits you so hard!
So I bought the ornaments — no tree!
Bought the tree — no home yet!
As my heart sunk in further and I felt the weight of my situation. Because nothing is going how we planned or imagined. I never felt so empty inside. I could not even explain but hold back the floodgate of tears of discouragement.
I lit it allll up in the guest room with my beautiful Georgia family that is with us throughout this wearisome process! He came in with my tree… put it where I was staying and I took all the ornaments, lights and stuff out. I put on the music, enjoyed my favorite Pinot and got in my element! Time to pull out all the stops regardless.
It was very different, surreal but I still found some lovely! And I slept the whole night through with those lights on and the scripture I kept reading each of the other long sleepless nights!
“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat, for He grants food to those He loves.” Psalm 127:2 NIV
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13 NIV
This is how it should be! Considering I wont have the home YET! I’m not all together with my family but this I know— way too many went through hardships this year especially! Maybe we don’t feel like there is much to celebrate. But there is! This is more than the season to be jolly! It is the season to decorate no matter what you see, what you feel, what you loss or what you miss!
Even when things don’t go as we plan and may feel like huge disappointments and setbacks. They are set ups to design on the dime. I didn’t think we had it in us— but we were made for more. We were built to win! We will have it all in place where and when and how it needs to be all in God’s matchless timing. Even when the details are no where and I mean NO WHERE in sight. I can’t wait, but He helps me to. He helps you too!
He helps us to decorate ANYWAY! Because there is so much more on the way for ‘21! Its right on the horizon! An amazing expansion to new life, new ideas, new opportunities, new homes, new health, new relationships and more than we could have dreamed! So let’s decorate this season. ♥️
You ever needed that one big hug in the moment of uncertainly?
A moment of frustration, pain or anguish?
A moment of despair or discouragement… like you need that one big hug.
The moment that you are mentally exhausted. Emotionally spent. Spiritually drained. Physically tired.
I got an email this morning from Pierre Jeanty’s auto-list. It caught my attention right away…. “You’re emotionally exhausted. There’s a heavy burden laying on your heart. As if it is pinned down under a weight too heavy for anyone to lift off you.”
Then he goes to the “bullseye target….” I’m like get out of my prayer room!
Here is the boom — “You’re emotionally exhausted from trying to give DEAD THINGS all the life you have to live. Let them go!”
Yeah — that was real necessary and on point of what is needed to be heard. When you have done all that you could over and over to the dead things you actually come out of it feeling pretty dead inside. That is what the enemy targeted for. Mission accomplished.
Mission aborted — right here:
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40: 28-31 NIV
A heavenly hug with words. Everyone gets tired, weak, weary, stumble, fall and the like…but if we HOPE in the LORD and not in dead things, we are going to live. And I mean really live. Free and unbound by any toxic situations. All the things trying to emotionally drain you like a vampire sucks the life out of its prey.