Today, we’re going to get deeeeeep, so maybe get up and come back with a cup of coffee cause yo girl is ready to talk! I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and have been waiting for the right moment to share it, today is that day! Coffee ready? Let’s dive in.. 😉
I am currently sitting in seat 13A on a flight from Bogota to Fort Lauderdale. As I look out the window and gaze at the bright gray skies, I replay this past weekend in my head…the hugs my mom gave me, the cracking up with my brothers, the googly-eyed daddy-daughter moments. I am so thankful for this weekend recharge!
My heart always feels like warm mush after a trip; I am just amazed that this is my life. I’d like to share, however that as I approached the immigration booths after saying good-bye to my family, my heart came all the way up to my throat making me choke back the tears. This weekend could be described with one word: LOVE. There was SO much love, so much laughter and joy. Sadness tried to come along as my travel buddy but I decided gratitude would be a better travel companion. So here I am, thanking God for every hour I got to spend with my family. I am so thankful for God’s promises, for the testing of our faith, for His Generosity Cycle and for His strength. My heart has taken quite a toll this last year. More than ever, I believe God is teaching me the true meaning of home.
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, land of tango and the best meat. Also the place where God called my grandfather, Omar Cabrera, and used him to introduce the gospel to the nation. It is the place where God saved my dad’s dad, Ezequiel Mora, and through his faith and my grandmother’s prayers, my dad encountered Christ. It was in Argentina where the Lord united my parents’ purposes and made them one. I remember very few things from my early years in Argentina, like Christmas and New Year’s at my uncle Omar’s house and the excessive amount of lip gloss I put on for picture day!
When I was five years old, God’s love uprooted us from Buenos Aires and planted us in Florida. My brothers and I grew up in a quiet neighborhood in Hollywood 10 minutes from the beach. God was always faithful to put us in the right place, from elementary school to my first year of high school. At the time, Snapchat and Fruit Ninja were not a thing…I wasn’t even allowed to have a Facebook until seventh grade! Haha! So for fun, my brothers had adventures in our backyard with our next door neighbors and I pretended to have my own show on Disney Channel and The Food Network. Our house was a perfect place to call home. We had a community park two blocks away, amazing neighbors, nice, big windows and a big oak tree in our front yard that sheltered many tiny birds; it was home.
In January of 2011, the five of us traveled to Colombia together for the first time. We visited for two weeks as part of the G12 Conference and fell in love with God’s manifestation and the hearts of the people. Little did we know or ever imagine that the following year we would move there! March of 2012, we said good-bye to sunny South Florida and set out for beautiful Bogota. We lived in both places; going back and forth between the two airports. God had once again uprooted our hearts and planted them in a new land…planted us by streams of living water after surviving the heat of the desert.
Going to Bogota was of the craziest things God has done in my life. Everything about the move was perfect and full of purpose. I was 15 when we moved, and I am so thankful I bloomed into the early stages of womanhood there. God surrounded me with incredible people who became my friends and supporters. I also had a glance of what my future of serving God would look like, and loved it!
In the months of Spring of 2015, God began to put a burden in my heart for G12 Church in Miami, the church where I grew up. I felt a strange detachment in my heart, but prayed for the church without thinking much of it. That summer, I spent a month in Miami on holiday, it was so fun to be in the sun! We had a trip scheduled to be in Florida in September to take care of some business. So, yes, I had thought of the possibility of staying until then. I also had a friend’s wedding in December in California and figured it’d be way cheaper to buy a flight from Florida than Bogota. Friends began telling me to stay and so the questioning in my heart began. I prayed, “Lord, if it is Your will for me to stay here, give me a Word. If I stay and the going gets tough, only Your Word will help me get through it–not someone else’s suggestions or even my own excitement.” Long story short, God gave me a Word two days before flying back to Bogota. “You will succeed in whatever you choose to do, and light will shine on the road ahead of you” (Job 22:28). I fasted seven days once I was back home (Bogota) and really began seeking God’s will.
In September, we set out to Florida again, thinking we’d be there for two weeks that quickly turned into eleven months! I am incredibly thankful for that time; they brought our family together like never before! God did awe-inspiring things and left our jaws dropping many times. It was so to be together literally 24/7!
In those eleven months, we moved three times! I don’t know if it is because I’m a girl, but I like to move into a place and settle in–organize my jewelry, determine the correct place for my candles and decide the right layout for the furniture in my room. I like to feel at home. But every time I’d finish settling in, we’d move again. I’m not complaining at all, I just look back and see it all as preparation for what I’m living now.
August of 2016, the decision was made: my family would continue their missionary work in Colombia and I would stay to serve in G12 Church…uprooted and planted yet again. Only this time, the level of intensity felt it was at 5 gazillion! My family was gone, I had quit my job to serve full time and my beloved Colombia I had left at the altar. All of me was gone–it was just God and a blank canvas.
The months of Autumn and Winter that followed were drenched with God’s goodness and faithfulness. I traveled, I laughed, I was surrounded by amazing people and grew a lot. Five months of searching for who I was supposed to be, five months of crying out to be held by God. It was in those lonely, quiet nights that I developed a relationship with God the Father. I wouldn’t trade those five months for anything in the world. It was in the stillness, in the quiet, in the pain of being stretched that God became my God. I guess we could say I had to become emotionally homeless to find my real home. God did not want me to live off of the love others gave me, He didn’t want me visiting emotional soup kitchens to barely survive. He wanted to become my Realtor and show me the home He’s had for me all along.
I was maybe in 6th grade when I realized I didn’t know what God’s specific Word for my life was. I stayed home to seek the Lord and He gave me Jeremiah 1:5: “appointed you as my prophet to the nations”. How was little 6th grade Nadia supposed to know God meant it literally when He spoke about the nations? I remember being very young and having a vision of a huge world map. Jesus and I stood in front of it and suddenly it became 3-dimensional so we could actually walk on it. Jesus walked forward first, and I followed. We traveled the world together that day–preaching and seeing multitudes turn to Him and encounter His love. He actually reminded me of this as I’m writing, looking back, I see that this was His plan from the very beginning. Here’s the thing, we tend to root ourselves where we are–we cling on to the people, the culture, the lifestyle, the weather even! But God spoke to my heart and said, “I want to take you from nation to nation but if you get attached to each one, it will delay My planting you in a new one.” Ever tried to move a cat from the rug to the couch? If the cat trusts you, it will likely cuddle in your arms as you reposition it. But if the cat does not trust you, it digs its claws into the rug making it incredibly hard (and dangerous) to move it. Something like that is what my heart was doing, so what was the solution? Make His cross my home.
Home is where the heart is. That’s sweet, but bitter too. The problem with that for me was, I was physically in one place, but emotionally and mentally in another. And so all the comfort and strength that comes from being at home, was only available in the place where I had left my heart. That left me homeless and in a state of lack. But when God says, “Come and be part of my family! Follow me and carry your cross!”, I went from being homeless to the daughter of the King of the kingdom. When I make the cross my home, I can be anywhere in the world, in any situation, but still feel at home; comfortable, loved, at peace, complete and protected. Why do you think Jesus told His disciples, “Carry your cross”? Because He knew they’d need a new home to fulfill their calling.
And so dear friends, don’t wait for God to take you to another city or nation, a new workplace or school, or place you in a new family or culture to make the cross your home. Everything you need is at the cross. I want to encourage you to give God your full heart and give Him the keys of where your heart currently resides–self pity, anxiety, discontentment, fear, even just settling for the okay. Let God show you the home He’s had for you all along. What this looks like is visualizing the cross as a place where you can deposit all of your burdens and receive refreshment and love. It means applying the blood of Jesus everyday like our pastor has taught us and it means running to God before calling anybody else.
It’s kinda cool actually, the cross is a portable home–a spiritual and emotional RV!, that will transport us to many adventures with Jesus! WOOHOOOO! Where will you venture to?
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about the power there is in the blood of Jesus, my Pastor, Cesar Castellanos has a great book to teach us to live in victory through the blood! https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/victory-through-the-blood/id1030827674?mt=11
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