One Woman’s Story – Gessica Rodriguez

“My name is Gessica. It’s pronounced like “Jessica”, but spelled with a twist. I was conceived by my young Sicilian parents back in the early 1990’s. As excited as they both were, only one of them could make it to the American delivery room that night.

My father had issues entering the United States, so my mom raised me alone until she met my sister’s dad. I was a couple months shy of 3 years old. That’s where my recollection begins.

My mother carries a strong presence. She is hilarious and full of life and laughter. She is not the bashful type, but quite the contrary; she can make anyone feel at home within minutes, and her warm personality will have you feeling like you’ve known her for ages.

She’d always battled an inner sadness, however; and due to her very traumatic past, she had a tendency to react out of defense and anger. My upbringing can be personified as a shaky, wooden roller coaster. There were many ups and many downs.

I’d like to think that my life is more colorful because of my mom. She taught me how to laugh and how to feel others’ pain. She taught me how to be affectionate, caring, and family-oriented. I watched her cook and clean religiously, and those things have stuck with me.

On the other hand, I picked up some bad habits, too. I grew up emotionally UNstable. My temper had a fuse as long as a fingernail. I suffered from constant anxiety. I felt I was being eaten alive by depression. I ate and ate to compensate for my powerful feelings. I had no control over my thoughts or emotions. My life felt very chaotic, and it was discouraging when my mom couldn’t help me stand up. That’s because I’d already watched her fall the exact same way I did.

I’ve been faithfully following Jesus Christ for almost 6 years now. I made the decision to rededicate my life to Him while my mom was away on a trip. Though her absence hurt me deeply, I encountered the most amazing Gift a person could ever receive, and that was the love and salvation of God’s only Son, Jesus. The more time I spend in God’s presence, the more my heart heals.

I’ve been married for 3 years, and now that I’ve had the time to look back and reflect on what it means to be a Godly wife and woman, I see that it was definitely not modeled in my home.

With that being said, I am all the more inspired and motivated to be the best woman, wife, and future mother that I can be because I understand the vital importance of leading by EXAMPLE. Before giving my life to the Lord, I never really considered what my words or actions would do to somebody else, but now I’m aware that everything I say and do is not only seen by our heavenly Father, but is affecting those around me.

As a woman, I have a position of influence on my husband and my future children, and I have to make a conscious decision every day of whether or not I’m going to walk as Jesus calls me to walk. I have the power to set the tone in our home’s atmosphere, I have the power to uplift my husband’s confidence, and I have the power to instill Godly principles into the lives of our children.

It’s an honor to be a woman, and not just any woman, but the woman that God has called me to be. May the Lord of Heaven be glorified forever and ever!!!”

~ Gessica

 

** Gessica is currently a housewife who blogs at gessicaparisi.wordpress.com.

“Be That Woman” – Three Simple Words That Have Impacted My Life

 

How profoundly did that statement ring to me. Immediately my mind started to really ponder over the deepness of it. I started to think about my mom and the kind of woman she was to me during my childhood days.

My mother was loving. My mother was hard working. She still is. She always kept a clean house. She kept food on the table. She always made sure that my siblings’ and my hair was combed and that we had on the best clothes and shoes she could afford for us. She trained us in how to cook, clean the house, and do the laundry. She trained us to keep ourselves well.

We didn’t have much of a spiritual upbringing in my home as I was growing up. My mother believed in God, but we were the family who only went to church occasionally, unless we went off to stay with one of her siblings in what we called the country for a spring break or two. Then, we went every Sunday.

Then the day came that we had started going to church more frequently. It was at that time that I gave my life to Christ when I was sixteen years old. I had become a teenage parent by then. But going to church was about the extent of it. I learned nothing at that time of what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus. Going to church had become short-lived again.

My walk with God really didn’t happen until almost 10 years later. On December 3, 2006, I recommitted my life to God. Having become much older, having had a few more children, and now able to get myself around, I decided on that day that it was time. I confessed Jesus once again. I began my real journey of walking with and having a relationship with God.

This is when the scales fell off of my eyes. God, through the power of the Holy Spirit had been teaching me so much.  It brought me to the point where I realized that there were a lot of things that I was not taught growing up, that I felt I should have been. And it made me feel a certain way towards my mother for not having taught me.

In a conversation I had with my her,  I was forced to consider some things that I had not considered before. I had not considered her childhood and what it was like growing up for her. I had not considered what she may have and may not have been taught. Because in reality, these things make a major difference in how you parent your own children. And suddenly I extended to my mother grace. I took a moment to consider her upbringing. I considered the fact that just as God has graced me in the raising of my children, He has graced my mother too.

But here’s the thing. I call it the flip-side. God in His grace sees all and knows all. Therefore He is merciful. Yet, though He gives grace, He still requires us to learn in the now what we had not in the past. Some things are excusable for children who have grown up into adulthood who don’t know. But once the Light of Truth has shined, those things become no longer excusable.

 

“If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father (John 15:22-24).”

 

In looking back over my life, with how I grew up, to my many experiences I’ve encountered, and with knowing what I know now – after having given my life to Christ – there are a lot of things I wish would have happened over the course of my childhood concerning my mom. Was my mother a bad woman? No. I believe she did the best she could with what she knew. But here’s what I wish:

 

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• I wish my mother could have been a woman who taught her children about God; the importance of having a relationship with Him (Deuteronomy 6).
• I wish my mother could have been a woman who took the time enough to talk to her children about the things that mattered most.
• I wish my mother could have been the kind of woman to model for her children the example of a woman who builds her house (Proverbs 14:1).
• I wish my mother could have modeled for her children the importance of being a woman who kept her word.
• I wish my mother could have modeled for her children the structure of training her children in the way that they should go.
• I wish my mother could have been an example to her children of what biblical submission to her husband looked like.
• I wish my mother could have taught her children the importance of standing up for God’s Truth even if it meant standing alone.
• I wish my mother could have taught her children the value of guiding their hearts while not living by their feelings and emotions.
• I wish my mother could have taught her children the importance of financial stewardship.
• I wish my mother could have taught her children the importance of their bodies being God’s temples; how they should take care of them.
• I wish my mother could have taught her children the value of true decision making.
• I wish my mother could have been a better example of Christ.

 

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My upbringing as a child greatly influenced the way I’ve parented my own children. Especially in their earlier childhood years. I was a single mom for most of that time, and a tender babe in Christ. I had no clue what real parenting was. I didn’t get married until I was 29. It was God in my husband who opened my eyes to the true importance of parenting my children correctly. But, for me, that wake up call until the year 2012 when my husband threatened divorce if things didn’t change.

 

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It all started with this book. I was in the garage one day praying unto God and asking Him to make me to be a woman after His heart and show me His priorities for my life, when I came across this book that my mom had given me. Ironic, huh?

It only took me to get to the table of contents before I realized God had given me the answer to my prayers. He had given me guidance. And in that instant I knew that He wanted me to build my house (Proverbs 14:1). Since then, I’ve been doing my best to obey what I believe God wants me to do. I even believe that He impressed upon my heart to not go back into the work force. Since then, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom. 

I’ve learned so much while on this journey. Over the course of my parenting since 2012, I have had to learn some new ways and unlearn some old ways. Let me just tell you, it was not easy. It forced me to have to truly see what parenting was as well as what parenting was not. And let’s not mention having to learn how to be a true, godly wife. It was all a total life changing reality for me. It forced me to truly grow up. I praise God for that!

With the more that I learn as I go, it seems my hunger to fulfill my assignment just keeps growing and growing. I’ve come to realize that it is a high calling.  It has caused me to have the desire to be to my children what I wish my mom would have truly been to me. I am needed for such a time as this.

To be honest, I believe it’s every woman’s high calling. I say high because the focus and center of the calling  is God who called you. We are all needed for this great assignment.

We are needed to be fearless for God.

We are needed to be strong  in God.

Contrary to popular belief, despite what the media portrays as a depiction of the woman of today, God is still raising up His faithful daughters who desire to be women who:

  • Are single godly women.
  • Are married godly women.
  • Love Him with their whole heart.
  • Serve Him daily.
  • Practice godliness and holiness.
  • Practice discipline
  • Respect their husbands.
  • Care for their families.
  • Help the needy.
  • Walk in wisdom, purity, and goodness.

I don’t know the kind of upbringing you had growing up. In your home, your mom could have been the one to model a perfect example of Christ for you to follow. Or your mom could have been the total opposite. The point is is that we all have been given the chance to be for others what we wished someone would have been for us.

I can be that woman. 

You can be that woman.

Together, collectively, we can be those women. 

Sister in Christ, will you accept your high calling?

 

“For us to answer God’s high callings, we must look to Him.”

~ Elizabeth George

 

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