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charlieperez

Blessed By Christ

Miami, United States

I was born to great parents in a great culture with a not so great government. Near the end of 1974 I was born to two wonderful human beings in the tropical paradise of Cuba under the unfortunate circumstance of being subject to a dictatorial regime. Emigrating to the United States in 1980 my mother raised me with my oldest brother and grandmother during a temporary separation from Dad and my only other sibling. The middle brother of three was forced to enter military service and by consequence my family was forced to separate.

Raised between Miami, Florida and Los Angeles, California my childhood was both great and not so great. Mom worked a lot and spent little time living life while my grandmother and oldest brother did most of the surveillance work over my youth. My older brother and father were finally reunited with us in California after about seven years of separation. My brother had fallen in love and so his new wife and daughter were added to the family. Well raised but slightly unwatched I was raised with just enough value to avoid ever becoming any sort of menace to society though the working parents paradigm did take its toll. I have had success and failure in all walks of life and blame no one for anything at this point.

Fortunately, Christ received me in 2017 and I am currently the happiest I have ever been in my life. I am pursuing, with all the patience I can possibly muster, a career in writing. While I work fulltime to pay bills and attempt to get a writing career going I am also enjoying the blessing of being married and hopefully soon kids. The Lord has been good to me and I am looking forward to glorifying His name in every part of my life through my behavior and my actions. May God grant me the honor of being a fruitful Christian and a productive member of society.

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Free at Last

Jun 04, 2019 5 months ago

Loving parents didn't stop me, a good education didn't guide me, and love couldn't hold me. So much for sociology, human wisdom, and earthly nurturing. I was never unkind or unloving and my conscience, being sound and developed, was healthy. Yet, my story bears witness to the frailty of the human condition. Like one who cuts the anchor, raises the sails and throws away the compass and the map, those who worship on the alter of humanism are doomed to the whims of the winds. It was summer and my mother had recently passed away. I had a wonderful wife and though there were struggles there was no reason to feel anything but blessed. I was employed, educated, and surrounded by all sorts of opportunities. The one thing I didn't have was God. I believed there was a God, not a problem there, but believing He could care less what I did there was nevertheless no Godly influence to draw from. Suddenly, I was overtaken by strong feelings of regret over my marriage. Looking back I understand now that those feelings which a man refuses to master will in turn master him. Nevertheless, I wanted freedom, at least my version of it, and so I asked for a divorce. I had been playing fast and loose with drugs, drinking, gambling, and staying out late. Godless and rooted in nothing but self-desire it wasn't long before I began to call good evil and evil good. It seems that pride truly does precede destruction. It's been said that one should be careful what is asked for in case it is received. So it was with me and it was now time to see if I truly wanted what I got. No more mom or wife to worry about, no more worrying about others, and no more guilt. This was true freedom, or so I thought. To make things even easier it seems that God, in His wisdom, had timed the revival of my credit to coincide with this precise moment in time. I took on debt and proceeded to buy “stuff” to further feed my selfish desires. Surely it surprised no one in my family at this point that I ended up finding myself a new girlfriend with similar desires. We partied late, worked a little, partied some more and threw money around without much care for anything. Remember, no more anchor or silly compass and definitely no map. The tragic thing about sailing through life without these things is that the wind still does what the wind will do; and so, a storm is certain to rock the boat eventually. It didn't take long for me to run into my own personal God-ordained storm. Having parted with sanity and completely bereft of morality came the inevitable, I lost control. The money started to dry up as my new girlfriend and I spent ourselves poor. Our desires neither wavered nor slept and we wanted more and more fun and freedom. Drugs, gambling, and late night drinking provided us with the “escape” from our problems. Then it happened, I lost the better of two jobs and the money ran out. As sure as the money ran out so did she, the romance was over. Appreciating poetic justice I can now look back and truly say that I got what I deserved. Now alone, depressed, and broke I was smack in the middle of the storm. No more money for rent and no more roof. My brother, who was my landlord, took me in and rented my former place but still it seemed good for me to refuse chastisement. So, unappreciative of his counsel, I loaded my car with what was left of my “stuff” and left. I spent a couple of years sleeping in the car, selling off what I had left, gambling, working hard, doing drugs, trusting in so-called friends, and dwelling in strange living arrangements with salty characters. I severed my relationship with family and real friends and lived for the moment. I was betrayed, mistreated, used, and unappreciated. I was feeling very defeated and quite useless and was not even present when one of my two brothers passed away from cancer. Freedom, it turns out, is itself not free from consequence. So how does this story end? But God! That is how this story ends. Preached to at work by two kind souls I looked and found and I knocked and it was opened. Wisely following sound counsel I was gripped with the reality that God is real and that his name is Jesus and so I cried out for forgiveness while sitting in my car one night. I believed in Him and He came into me and in the blink of an eye I was forgiven. I felt forgiven and felt blessed and most importantly I was reborn into a whole new creature. Suddenly, every change in me that could produce peace and happiness began to happen. Desires can change but not easily and so we know, those of us saved by the grace of Christ, that we are living breathing miracles to His glory! A roof, a wonderful wife, new desires and tremendous peace is what I now have. I am provided what I need and rejoice in Godly desires: to help others, to be kind, work, preach, love, and seek the fullness of God. The bible is my book of choice and prayer is my delight. His word, His love, His way. And so my friends it is that I am finally Free at Last!

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