Sisters, Not!!!!!!!!!!

I keep telling my daughter that the older she gets the better I look. Is that bad or what? OK, the truth is this, she will be 23 in June, I did not birth her, she came with the I do I did in 1993 when she was just 7 years old. I say that the stretch marks from her are all on my heart. You could say we have kind of grown up together. She has been one of the biggest encourages in this journey of healing and recovery for me.

Leaving on Jet plane

Part 2

Daughters of Destiny is a full-circle ministry offering women inmates a new life fully transformed through Christ-centered relationships and Biblical truth.

"I will transform the battered into a company of the elite. I will make a strong nation out of the long lost, A showcase exhibit of GOD's rule in action, as I rule from Mount Zion, from here to eternity." Micah 4:7

“It's better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there's no one to help, tough! ... By yourself you're unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped.” Ecc 4:9-10, 12

The Daughters Network acts as the community net of grace that unites three people groups to support and walk with Daughters Inside and upon their release so they sustain a life-long relationship in Christ. The net of grace consists of three cords: Ministry Partners in prison ministries who help connect Daughters with women of faith inside and outside of correctional facilities, Destiny Home which serves the immediate needs of women newly released, and Daughters Free who share their testimonies and experiences of their successful transition into life on the outside.

In this net of grace, those that come together to create the three cord bond, have an opportunity to stand together and be a model of Biblical-based relationships to the Daughters they support. “Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law.” Gal 6:2

Join us and be part of God’s plan to bring His daughters into their destiny. “God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.” Heb 11:40

I'm leaving on a jet plane!

Part 1
WOW!!!! It must be my lucky day! I do not think I have ever experienced such ease at the airport. I have always been one of those people who just barely make it to the airport, at least until I met my husband. I am also usually the one they decide to pat down just in case I might be thinking of causing some havoc among the other flight members or something.

Today is actually a significant anniversary for me and I find myself once again reflecting on where I have been and where I am headed. Sometimes my days feel like years and my years feel like moments. There are times where I embrace change and then there are those days where I just want to push it away. Today is one of those days where I choose to fully wrap my arms around my past, my present and my future so that I can fully be me and fully be present in this moment.

What is the anniversary that I have spoken of? What is this special day I am celebrating. Well, briefly it is the anniversary of the day I decided to surrender to my past, embrace my future and start living in the present. Five years ago today was the day I decided to stop running from myself and find out who I truly was.Five years ago today, I admitted to my family and friends that I had struggled with a ten year drug addiction that almost completely destroyed my life. However, it was also that very same addiction that saved my life as well.

Over the last five years, I have learned that it was never about the drugs or the addiction but the issues that led up to, the reasons I abused every substance that I could get my hands on.To some of you reading this for the very first time, you might be kind of surprised and others it might answer a lot of questions you have had in regards to why I do what I do today and why I did what I did yesterday.

Five years ago today, I was leaving on a jet plane and today, I did the same thing.

Therefore, as I sit here in CO. Springs, hours past my bedtime, amazed at the journey, I cannot help but think about what the rest of this trip will look like.

I will continue to write and post about this wonderful ministry called Daughters of Destiny that I am involved with. The mountains here are beautiful and I am across the street for Focus On the Family.....

The only thing missing is my husband, the love of my life and my rock.
I spent the evening visiting with dear friends from my past and am ready to hit the pillow. I will write more tomorrow.
I love the race I am running!!!!!

"I get it".

Dear Friend,
Did you ever think that you and I would ever share such a similar story? As I stood in the rain, outside the jail, waiting to see you, all I could do was think of the many lines I had stood in over the years. This by far was the most important line I had ever chosen to stand in. While waiting for access, I realized that all the pain, suffering and crap that I went through in my life were the very reason I was able to stand in that line. Access was granted and through the hard plexiglas window our eyes met, I could hear you loud and clearly without you even uttering a sound. Shame seemed to be the expression written on your face and as our eyes locked, the words “I get it” rolled off my lips.

My friend, though the world could not see my bars they were their. I understand the guilt, shame, denial and the chaos that comes like a freight train when we are forced to look at ourselves. As permanent as those bars may seem at this very moment you must believe that they are the very thing that is protecting you from yourself. In praying today, the Lord reminded me of what Jesus had once said. “You must loose your life in order to save it.” It does not say how you must loose it, just that it must be lost in order to save it. You my friend, have been given an opportunity to do just that.

When I was in your position, sitting in my stuff, hundreds of miles away from my home, family and friends, I did not see hope, I did not see a new life being restored. I felt defeated, rejected and downright broken. I had no hope for my future but I knew deep down I could not return to my past, not if I wanted to live. I had to make a decision to believe and hope in those who had gone before me, those who had recovered from life, as they knew it.

Allow me to represent that hope you can have. My friend, you are not alone and you will never be alone. It is your choice though, to reach out, reach in, and find the strength that comes from believing in the gift of the Cross. The Cross-destroys guilt and shame. The Cross-is where restoration and recovery happens. The Cross was meant for people like you and me, whom the world considers foolish will be the very ones the Lord uses. The battle is in the mind and works its way to the flesh. That is why I urge you to make sure you start bathing yourself in the truth. Without the cross, our mistakes are paid through punishment but through the Cross, our life is walked out in consequences.

It is your choice, punishment or consequence. A punishment is a penalty that is imposed on somebody for wrongdoing but a consequence is something that follows as a result. Can you believe it? You are not penalized for what you have done in the eyes of the Lord, and you are not guilty! Remember, you are not what you did. You are a child of the King of King and you my friend have an inheritance just waiting to be grabbed. When I looked at you, I did not see a criminal, I saw a child of God with value, a person who was made in the image of our Creator and that is who you are.

I am finding that the greatest men in His Kingdom are the ones who have fallen the farthest and hardest. I know that God has big plans for you because He does not have favorites, so what He has given me, He wants to give to you. Plans of a hope and a future, plans to prosper you and not to bring you harm. I want you to remember this, when you find yourself scared and wanting to go back to what you know. Every word of God proves true, every. He defends all who come to Him for protection. He will take care of you. He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make His Kingdom your primary concern. He hears His people when they call to Him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. He is close to the brokenhearted and He rescues those who are crushed in spirit. I will continue to pray for you and lift you up as God brings you through the fire and the ashes of your past so that you can dance with your future. I love you my friend to the sky and back.Praying for you daily


I want to be me!!!

Five years ago today, the cry of my heart was “I don’t want to be me!” Today, the cry of my heart is “all I want is to be me!” I would like to share with you my friends and those stopping by my blog of who I was and who I am today. As I celebrate this month, five years ago on Oct. 23, 2003 I surrendered to the process of recovering what was lost, stolen or given away, through my habits, hurts and hang-ups.

Who I was

My name was Cris and I was a believer in no one and nothing. Faith was for you and not for me. Recovery was impossible and loneliness was where I remained. Freedom was a myth and death was inevitable. My master was my drug of choice and the moment was all I could think about. I did not dream, wish or hope for tomorrow because that would have meant I would have had to face my future. Depression ruled my heart and lies ruled my mind.

I was rejected, illegitimate, unnoticeable, and down right mean. I was a prisoner of my past with bars that could not be seen. I would not let anyone in and I would not come out. Pain had been my pal and purpose had been my enemy. I could not fix the brokenness in my heart and I would let anyone try. No one could touch me because I would not let them. They could not love me because I was unlovable. I hurt therefore I wanted everyone else to hurt. Their touch, their voice their love had become my greatest opponent. I would do whatever it took to keep everyone out. I pushed, shoved, and knocked them down.

My tears were dry my heart was hard and my life was worthless. My walls were high the doors were locked and the windows were shut. I ran from all, I played a part, I lived a lie. Habits of addictions, hurts of abuse and hang ups in denial where my chains. No one knew me because I did not want them to. I waited for death to take me fast, the pain was deep and the days were long. I questioned my creator and cursed His creation. I longed for nothing and expected the same.
That was who I was. (All based on my perception of who I was filtered through my habits, hurts and hang ups.)

Who I am

My name is Cristina and I am a believer in Jesus Christ. He is my Lord and my savior, my rock and my salvation and Because Of Him; I will never be alone again. I have been forgiven, set free and spiritually raised from the dead all through Jesus Christ. I am who I am because of who He is.