He is My Home

He is My Home Hero Image He is My Home Hero Image

“In His rich kindness and grace, the Lord transformed my heart at 14 years old when my grandma sent me to a Christian summer camp that I was reluctant to attend. I had grown rebellious against my mother out of resentment for my childhood wounds. I was a cold and distant teenager who thought she could fix everything on her own. I didn’t expect that the Lord would humble me in a big way and lead me to repentance with an understanding of my desperate need for a Savior.

“There was no turning back. I decided to follow Jesus in complete surrender. I spent the rest of my teenage years growing closer to the Lord through serving at my local church and Christian summer camps.
“The more I learned about my faith, the more questions I had about what it looked like to live a Christian life and not fall into empty religious practices. I questioned my Christian disciplines and sought to understand my own convictions.

“I grew distant and apathetic toward the church and some leaders. I was in and out of church with a lack of desire to congregate and an aching pain as I found myself without community. But by the grace of God, He had good plans for me still.

“During the pandemic, with most churches closed, I started a journey to find an online church. That led me to a church in Oklahoma that transformed my view of church and reminded me of the concept of grace.
“I would stream every Sunday. Then, I started serving with a community of believers by answering prayer requests through email responses. It felt like home. It was amazing to feel connected to a local church again, even miles and miles away from Mexico.

“A desire sparked in me to move and be part of this church. For a year, I prayed about this decision and the opportunity to intern with them. Scripture became encouraging to me in this season as I waited for the Lord to direct my steps while trusting His promises (Psalms 25).

“After applying for the internship, I came to Dallas to prepare and jumpstart the process to be ready to move. In my heart, there was no Plan B. The Lord had given me a desire, and He would fulfill his promises to me. Yet, at the same time, I started praying to God that no matter what the response was to still worship and praise Him.

“A few days after my first interview, I was told I wasn’t accepted. I was heartbroken. I was discouraged and frustrated, but at the same time, my heart knew of my promise to praise God no matter what. The entire week after that, as I tried to pray, I would just lay flat on the floor with nothing to say to God. I felt like there was a desire taken away from me and nothing else left for me to do but trust. I tried to process my disappointment in the Psalms and would seek His direction, but it felt like silence.

“Then, while watching sermons online, I found a message from The Porch. When I realized it was in Dallas, I decided to attend in person. I was shocked. I had never been anywhere like this. The message was about leaving things you are comfortable with and trusting God to fill the blank spaces. Hearing this, I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to move to Dallas for the first time. I was so confused and skeptical. Was there anything for me in Dallas? That very same night after The Porch and in His magnificent and undeniable providence, I met the person who would eventually offer me a job in Dallas.

“My move was way more than geographical. I completely changed cultures and left my family. There has been not a single process in my life that has stretched my faith like this. I had nothing to cling to but God. He taught me how to fully depend on Him in every area of my life. Change can feel uncomfortable and frighten us, but as we trust and obey God’s written promises in Scripture, He teaches us more about his character.

“Looking back to my season of disappointment, I never imagined the Lord would bring such a loving church and biblical community around me. I didn’t know He would provide a job or a car. I didn’t know I would eventually find an extended church family to serve with at Watermark en Español. To see my culture worship our precious God in their own language fills my heart with joy and makes me feel at home.

“Through His Spirit and His Word, God enabled me to trust in Him. Psalms 145 says we get to praise God for His work in our lives, proclaim His greatness, and share the story of His wonderful goodness. ‘They will tell about your mighty deeds and the majesty and glory of your reign.’

“My story has nothing to do with me or what I’ve done. It has everything to do with how God works through every single area of our lives to bring us back to Him.”

Mentioned in Iliana's Story:

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Spanish speakers, you’re invited to join us at Watermark en Español in the Loft on Sundays at 11:15 AM. We gather to worship, pray, and celebrate together in Spanish each week. Learn more.