I Am Biracial (¡Guau! ¡No Me Digas!)

I am biracial.
Two races.
Two groups of people claim me as their own, or maybe they actually reject me.
I try to squeeze into the boxes you’ve placed in front of me, but somehow I can’t fit in.

Maybe it’s my hair that coils and springs freely.
My hair that moves wildly like an ocean wave crashing upon a Puerto Rican beach.
“Oh, girl you’re such a fiery Latina!”

Or perhaps it’s my skin color,
That mezcla of brown, yellow, and white.
“Your skin is so light, if you straighten your hair, you could pass.”
For white.
So you’re a Nazi.

I’m sorry, but I didn’t know this was a test. And what’s a passing score? White?

If so, I guess I’ve failed, because I got 50%.

And if this is a test, I was doomed to fail from the start.

Starting to think about my ethnicity the more you play games with it.

“What are you?”

What am I? A beloved daughter of the King.

You toy with my identity like we’re on the playground but half of me is on the wall waiting to be picked.

Which half? Depends on who YOU are.

People of color love to reaffirm my Puerto Rican “sassy” flavor.

And Caucasians are thrilled when they hear me speak. You see, I’ve been told I “speak well.” Speak well for what?

What do you think this is? Is my identity something malleable that you can stretch and stretch to fit your preconceived notions of what you think I should be?

Because I want to know when my ethnic identity became in any way related to our dependent upon you.

You need to know that I decide how I express my cultures. I choose which to identify with.

But you know, maybe I identify with both! That’s something we both know is unsettling to the idea of me in your head.

But, thankfully, even if I claim both cultures equally, shocking I know, you can still choose how you see me.

Because I am biracial.
Two races.
Two groups of people claim me as their own, or maybe they actually reject me.
I try to squeeze into the boxes you’ve placed in front of me
But somehow I can’t fit in.

And I don’t want to anymore.

When Satan Comes At Night

At my most vulnerable, at my most fragile, he comes. When I allow the doubts to creep in, he makes his presence known. He doesn’t come in the form of a terrifying fallen angel. Oh no, he comes in the form of a lover, an amante, a desire, a forbidden passion.

As I walk around my quaint neighborhood, admiring the clusters of houses and little gardens, he comes to mind:

“Maybe you should text him.”

“Perhaps you were wrong to reject him before.”

“God could have sent you to show him the Way, couldn’t He have? God can do anything, right?”

 

Washing my hair and listening to Latin music, I picture us dancing to the tune. I don’t change the song.

Hearing the Spanish love songs I adore and imagining him wanting me like the singer wants his muse.

The sky falls, the sun drops, the stars peek their heads into the wide God-fashioned expanse.

“Text him. You can’t stop thinking about him, so it must be a sign from God.”

Five months had passed since we last spoke. His ridiculous romantic advances were disgusting to me and I had rejected him.

But, the connection.

But, the feeling.

But, the passion. 

We exchanged pleasantries for a few moments before the former flattering words spewed forth from his mouth. 

“What do you want?” I asked.

“All of you. I want to know everything about you.”

Now, this man doesn’t know Christ and he is almost 40-years old. Everything in me told me not to respond to that, but I did. Why did I? He promised love. He promised passion. He promised fire. His words stirred the desire in me that I had suppressed for so long.

After a night of forsaken sleep and fervent text messages, the Holy Spirit spoke clearly to my heart by giving me a feeling of utter disgust with this situation. I felt it in the pit of my stomach and it gurgled up to my throat. I texted the man and restated that I’m not the one for him.

Not today, Satan. Not today.

When Satan comes, he doesn’t come as a figure of fear or destruction, WHICH IS WHAT HE IS. He comes as your greatest fleshly desire. In my case, it was romantic love and physical passion. Remember that Satan is the father of lies and all he wants to do is steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). He prowls around, looking for someone to devour (I Peter 5:8). Who does he want to destroy? Believers. He hates us with an everlasting hatred because we are God’s beloved, and he hates God. 

Brothers and sisters, there is hope. That hope comes in the person of Jesus Christ, fully man and fully God. Through His sacrifice on the cross, we no longer have to identify by our sins and shortcomings. I am not Gabrielle, the girl who succumbs when a man sweet talks her in Spanish. I am Gabrielle, daughter of the King, furtherer of God’s kingdom, and heavenly princess. Your sins do not define you if you believe in Jesus Christ. Accept His free gift of healing, liberation, and peace. This gift is something we believers must accept every day. Every day we have to say NO to identifying by our sins and say YES to identifying by our God. Preach yourself the Gospel every day. Lord knows I need His Good News every moment.

You will be tempted because you are human and prone to sin. We all are. But, God promises to give us a way out of temptation. That is through Himself. (1 Corinthians 10:13).

 

Be encouraged. You are NEVER too dirty or too much for God. He made you and He LOVES you!

 

Blessings,

 

Gabrielle G.

When It All Falls Apart (Job)

Peace be with you, dear readers.

If you know me outside of my blog, you know that this past year has been incredibly difficult. I’ve been feeling quite a bit like Job, as dramatic as that sounds. Through my past and continual losses, I’m slowly learning about the sovereignty of God, His grace, and just how much of a threat I am to the kingdom of darkness.

Now, many of you are experiencing a difficult situation at the moment. I don’t know what that is, but let me tell you that it is certainly not meaningless. God takes our painful moments, that He allows to happen, and uses them for our benefit and His glory. How does He do this?

First, let’s take a look at my 2017 and then I can explain how God is restoring my life.

In 2017, thus far, these different tragedies have taken place:

  1. I lost my job teaching ESL because they didn’t have a class for me to teach.
  2. Grad school fell apart for me and I had to drop out.
  3. Because I was living off of my loans, that meant I had no more money to survive on.
  4. My parents’ marriage began falling apart and is now completely dissolved.
  5. My father was rushed to the hospital with a blood clot in his lung and is recovering.
  6. I was forced by circumstances to move to Atlanta because I could no longer afford my apartment, which means I left all of my friends.
  7. My favorite aunt, who has Lupus, feels that God is slowly calling her home.

Damn! That’s a lot, right?? It seems overwhelming when it’s written in a list. Trust me, experiencing it was even more overwhelming.

As each part of my life began falling apart, I began falling as well. I fell into a depression. My body rejected food. A few sips of soup were all I could take for a day. My mind craved sleep. I passed the afternoons with naps. All I could think was, “What’s the point anymore?” “Does life really matter?” “Maybe it would be better if it were all over.”

Lord Jesus that should have been the biggest red flag that I was being spiritually attacked! Think about the story of Job in the Bible. Job was a man who enjoyed earthly prosperity and comfort while recognizing that it was all from God and loving God deeply. He was a blameless man and had a solid reputation. Because of his love for God and his loyalty, Satan asked God if he could test Job. Satan told God that if God took away all of Job’s comforts and security, then Job would curse Him to His face.

Ouch.

Now God told Satan that he could take anything from Job except he couldn’t kill Job. So Satan destroyed every aspect of Job’s life. He lost it all! Yet, in the beginning, Job still praised God and worshipped Him through his pain.

When Job’s friends began to accuse him of committing some sin or Job’s wife doubted God, Job began to fall. Without any material pleasures or human companionship, Job fell into the darkness and cried out to the Lord. 

The Lord heard him, comforted him, and restored to Job twice of what was lost.

Some people may find it dramatic to compare myself to Job. I don’t. God didn’t give us Job’s story so we could look at it and think, “Oh wow, that sucks. Good thing I have Jesus and nothing bad can happen to me!” Sorry to burst your bubble, but when you sign up to be a Christian, you sign up for Jesus’ army. You are putting yourself out there to be attacked. Expect it.

Because we love Jesus and serve Him, we are a prime target for the enemy. Every moment of your life, he tries to take your eyes off of God. His ultimate goal is your destruction. As Jesus tells us in John 10:10, “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy.” Satan wants to steal from you. He wants to kill you. He wants to destroy you and your life.

Scary, right? But it doesn’t have to be!

As believers in Christ Jesus, we have His Holy Spirit inside of us who protects us completely from Satan. We have been washed with the blood of the Lamb and no weapon formed against us can stand (Is. 54:17). Jesus has actually given us all authority over Satan and his demons. We have the power to tell Satan to leave, to cast out demons, and to break strongholds in Jesus’ name (Luke 10:19).

Believe in that authority, because it comes from God. It is not dependent on your strengths and weaknesses. In fact, God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). Do not be fearful because fear is from the enemy. The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7).

Earlier I mentioned that God takes brokenness and makes it beautiful again. He really does. That’s what He yearns to do. That’s who He is! That’s the whole point of the Gospel! We’re so incredibly broken and awful things happen to us, but Jesus restores us inwardly so we can restore things outwardly (He also takes care of outward things as well!).

He’s currently doing that in my life. Yes, all of those terrible aforementioned things have happened, but here’s what also happened:

  1. I have valuable bonding time with my family again.
  2. The Lord has provided me with a good Christian community.
  3. The Lord just gave me a new job today (I actually got the call today. Woo!)
  4. He is slowly revealing more of His lovingkindness and His plans for my life through our quiet time together.

So, brothers and sisters, take heart. Remember that no spiritual attack can come to you that God Himself has not allowed. Suffering grows our faith, if we choose to abide in Christ. Christ promised that He Himself will finish the good work He started in you (Phil. 1:6).

Remember that all of the Gospel greats have been viciously attacked because of their potential in Christ. Many of them were promised great things by God and died with that hope (Hebrews 11). But we finish our race well by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, looking at His suffering throughout His ministry and death, and keep running!! (Hebrews 12).

If you are a Christian and you’re being attacked by Satan, rejoice because your name is a threat to the kingdom of darkness. What Satan and the world mean for evil, God means for your GOOD! (Genesis 50:20).

Combat the enemy’s darts through prayer, reading the Word, fasting, staying in community, and just believing that God will redeem you. Behold, He is coming soon on His white horse, ready to reclaim His bride. Trust in that.

 

Be blessed.

 

Gabrielle G.

 

Check out what John Piper has to say on Job:

Who Is Kajol?

She was smokey; that’s how she felt to me. A young teen she was, but she reflected something mysterious and unspoken when we met. A nose ring glittered against her cinnamon skin, which contrasted beautifully against her yellow salwar kameez. In the children’s park, she led me by the hand to her favorite spots: the statue of the elephant, the bushes of white flowers, and the clusters of dandelions. An hour passed like mere moments as we made wishes, watching the fluffy white stuff fly freely off the dandelion stems. Like children we swung from the swings, daring each other to go higher and higher. Fuchka was our afternoon snack and we laughed while popping those puris in our mouths.

While walking her back to her home in a local slum, still holding my hand, she suddenly looked up into my eyes and declared, “My name is Kajol.”

Knowing that her mother tongue was Hindi, I responded with, “Tera naam Kajol hai?”

She smiled and nodded.

I continued, “Oh! Well, mera naam Gabby hai!”

She laughed and introduced me to Barsha, the four-year old princess who claimed ownership of my other hand. Barsha had that adorable and common young Indian girl look: short, mushroom-like hair and a beautiful little dress. When I dropped these two princesses at home, knowing that the peaceful time we had just spent was rare for them, I left knowing that my life had just become altered in a way I never could have foreseen.

 

 

 

This is a snippet of this young lady who has taught me more about joy and resilience than anyone else I’ve known.

 

Gabrielle G.