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Restoration: A Work in Progress

Redding, CA, USA

In light of my final BSSM Tuition Deadline on November 5th, I wanted to share a new conversation in which God has been able to talk to me about. Throughout these past few weeks, God has revealed to me His goodness and a movement of restoration-- a stepping ground of newness.

Four weeks ago, my wallet was stolen and just recently, I started replacing all of the cards that were in that wallet. I KNOW! I fully believe that I had so much faith that my wallet was going to materialize somewhere and I would find it somewhere-- maybe nestled in my car between my driver seat and the inner console or buried in a pile of clothes in my drawers or even in the endless blackhole that is the bottom of my backpack--but that was not the case (LOL).

I decided it was time to replace my entire wallet when I went home to the Bay Area for the weekend (and I have been using Apple Pay this entire time). But as I was using my phone to pay for a purchase, it was declined. My first thought was Right, I'm in the Bay instead of Redding, so my bank might have wanted to make sure that the transaction was actually me, which an email would have been sent to me asking if the activity was mine. All I would have to do was check my email and accept the terms that it was, indeed, me-- but there wasn't an email. Since it was a Saturday, I had to wait until Monday to contact them. Fast forward to Monday and I was able to get a hold of a bank representative. I told them about the issue and they said there was a charge for $9 in Pittsburg, which was a city that I have not been to at all!

"Oh!" I replied figuring that someone had actually stolen my wallet, "Please cancel the card! It definitely wasn't me." So I have made the definite decision to replace everything and I have been learning a lot along the way.

Another way in which God has been working in restoration is in my name. For those of you, who know me as Jacky, I have been going by MJ these past few months and I prefer to be called MJ. The reason being, before BSSM started, I noticed that there were a handful of other "Jackies" at BSSM that the rebel inside of me wanted to be different. Considering that MariaJackylene Gutierrez is my legal name, I thought to use MJ! So not only has the Lord been restoring the tangible things in which I have to interact with the world i.e my wallet/money, He has also changed my name.

He has been redeeming Redding for me and my home back in the Bay Area as well. 
I'm going to be vulnerable and share that this past summer was one of the toughest, loneliest, and worst summers of my entire life.
I went in deep into my own head and my thoughts were the only thoughts I listened to, which is a very dangerous place to be. I thought so little of myself that I hated the core things about what made me who I am. I hated every part of myself that I forgot who I was. I forgot how loved I was-- how loved I am. Starting BSSM, I mentally decided to move on from the summer because I was done. I was done with that community, the place, and situation. I wanted my voice heard, but that need was not being met. So the promise of BSSM was new and bright. I was so excited to start something new, but Jesus had other things in mind. He told me that in order to fully step into who I am supposed to be, I have to let go of past hurt in order to let go-- I have to acknowledge the past. I had to acknowledge the pain and the hurt because until I was able to do that, I was then able to let go, which sparked revival in my dreams and my future career. 

Jesus has been teaching me to dream and how to dream big. While I was home in the Bay Area, which was the first time I was able to and I was able to share a few stories about my experiences in BSSM at my niece's birthday party to a few of my cousins. As I was sharing, I mentioned about wanting to go to London, England for a few months (God willing). I also said that I thought so low of myself and I had forgotten who I was that one of my cousins, Joey, stops me and says, 
"You have no boyfriend, no kids... If I were your age I would go live in that country for a year and go to another country after that and if you need a place to come back to you have home. If you need  place to sleep--to eat-- you have a place here.
When I heard this, I wanted to cry because this interaction reminded me of how loved I am and how much I am wanted at home. God is so Good! He not only has restored a place of where I was born-- where I am proud to be from-- but is redeemed.

God's goodness is incredibly highlighted to me through community, family, and everything that I am! Looking back at these past few months has allowed me to see how present and intentional God has been and always will be! He has reminded me of how intentional and significant the parts of me that makes me, who I am-- the same parts I wanted to throw out-- is so unique and powerful. He has taught me how to fully walk in knowing what says about me is true.

Thank you, dear reader, for reading 
my heart.


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