Childhood Trauma to Triumph: Surviving my mom’s psychotic episodes with Patricia | Ep 11

Episode summary: 

Patricia Ortega, Christian career coach, shares a profound faith story of turning childhood trauma into total transformation. As a child she was the target of her mother’s psychotic episodes and experienced a lot of mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical abuse as a result. She spent many years struggling with drugs, relationships, mental health and feelings of abandonment. However, through encountering the presence and promises of Jesus, she’s been able to rebuild her life with God’s guiding hand.

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In this episode, you will learn the following:

  1. Patricia’s experience of being the target of her mother’s psychotic episodes, and the abuse and trauma that resulted from it.
  2. Patricia’s journey of forgiveness towards her mother, and how it has been a lifelong process.
  3. The way God has redeemed Patricia’s past and used her experiences to benefit others.

“I would pray as a child saying, ‘I just need you to hold me here, and not let me go insane.’ God literally re-raised me. I didn’t know how to do anything for myself. He taught me how to do everything and then he put me tied in my life.

Patricia sharing her childhood prayer to God

This is Patricia’s story…

Patricia’s mother suffered from mental illness, which led to Patricia being the target of abuse, both physical and emotional. As a result, Patricia struggled with mental health issues, anger, and addiction and childhood trauma. However, God redeemed her past and showed her how to live a good life. Through His grace, she was able to forgive her mother and find peace and healing.

Childhood Trauma to Transformation in Jesus with special guest Patricia Ortega from The Uncommon Career Podcast

Connect with Patricia:

Patricia is a Christian, a podcaster and master’s degree trained career coach at The Uncommon Career LLC. She helps clients prayerfully navigate the career sector; communicate trademark strengths; and become confident, sought-after professionals. 

Episode Transcript

[Jemese]

Hey, friend. Welcome to a new Creation podcast where we’re pointing women towards victory in Christ, one Jesus story at a time. My name is Jamie’s License. I’m licensed trauma therapist and mentor now serving in the Ministry of Inner Healing and Deliverance for Women. I invite you to go ahead and get yourself comfy, maybe get yourself some water girl because, you know, we all need to be drinking more anyway, so here’s your friendly reminder and let’s dive right into today’s episode. 

[Jemese]

Today I’ve got a wonderful guest. I know you’re going to love her story. Her name is Patricia and she’s going to be sharing with us a story of really profound transformation. I say that knowing that any time Jesus comes in and touches our lives, it is always so profound. But her story is really incredible. She shares that she’s a Christian, a wife, a doodle mom, which sounds so fun, and a career coach….

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[Jemese]

Hey, friend. Welcome to a new Creation podcast where we're pointing women towards victory in Christ, one Jesus story at a time. My name is Jamie's License. I'm licensed trauma therapist and mentor now serving in the Ministry of Inner Healing and Deliverance for Women. I invite you to go ahead and get yourself comfy, maybe get yourself some water girl because, you know, we all need to be drinking more anyway, so here's your friendly reminder and let's dive right into today's episode. 

[Jemese]

Today I've got a wonderful guest. I know you're going to love her story. Her name is Patricia and she's going to be sharing with us a story of really profound transformation. I say that knowing that any time Jesus comes in and touches our lives, it is always so profound. But her story is really incredible. She shares that she's a Christian, a wife, a doodle mom, which sounds so fun, and a career coach. We'll touch briefly on how God moved her to take the sleep of faith and move across the country to start a business and career coaching. And that'll be a really rich discussion because I think sometimes as we approach these very spiritual subjects, like we hear about all the time on this podcast, we can forget sometimes the need for those very practical day to day supports like career, what job am I going to work? And what about my income, etc and etc, etc. So Patricia will briefly share about how God is moving in that area, but not before we get into the meat of her story and how she got there. So before the leap of faith in career, Patricia shares that she was the target of her mother's psychotic episodes. 

So I'll just add right here for the listener, a content warning for those who might feel sensitive to the subject. We won't go into any very specific details, but Patricia does share her background and her testimony and includes issues of child abuse, depression, confusion, drugs, sex, pornography and the like. However, she'll tell you that these dark experiences have really only served to make Jesus’ light shine brighter. 

So with that said, I'm ready to hear from Patricia. Welcome to the show, Patricia. 

[Patricia]

Hi. It's great to talk with you.

[Jemese]

Today I'll be transparent with my listeners. I did get to hear a little bit of Patricia's story before, and it's just so cool to me how he doesn't waste anything. Like the Lori will not waste any of our experiences. He will take those things and use them and mold them and shape them so that we can be a benefit to others. And on that note, I do want to hear all about your story. But let me back up and ask, if you don't mind, would you pray over this episode and our listeners before we launch in?

[Patricia]

Absolutely. Dealer god, I thank you, Father, for every beautiful woman on the other side of the podcast. I thank you for the fact that you brought her here to spend her time with us. Father. I thank you, Lord, that nothing is an accident with you. Nothing is coincidence, but you line everything up, Father. God, I thank You, Lord, for bringing this opportunity to just come onto the podcast to share Your gospel, your testimony, your story. And I know that you're working in everyone else's gospel and testimony and story, every beautiful woman that's listening, Father. So I pray that Your Holy Spirit would speak in these moments exactly what they need to hear. And for that, Lord, I give you all the owner of glory and praise in Jesus name. Amen

[Jemese]

Amen. Yes. I just don't want to do anything without him. I love starting these episodes, and just like anything I do with prayer just seems to shift the atmosphere instantly. Yeah. So why don't we just launch right in and we want to hear about how you came into the faith and just a little bit about who you are and how it is you came to know the Lord and how you came to know Jesus. Would you share anything that's on your heart around that subject?

[Patricia]

Yeah, well, I'll give sort of like the synopsis, the short version is that the youngest memory I have is when I was four years old. And the memory is of the start of what I consciously saw and observed of my mom's mental illness. And so she had it in her mind, these crazy illusions and things, that supposedly I was a part of something, my father was a part of something, we were a part of something together. And yeah, it's just really a bad thing. And so she had me sort of as a target of her mental illness. And so that just brought on a lot of mental, emotional, spiritual, physical abuse, even molestation stuff. And so it was just a really difficult childhood. I put my father in jail on false incest charges at eleven, and then I realized I found out what that actually meant. And so then I told the truth with the judge and et cetera, and got him out, but not before they put a restraining order on him and made us stay with my mom. I don't understand that part of the legal system, but that's what happened. And then at the age of, I think, 1516, right around there, I got a permit. I didn't yet have my license, but there was a really traumatic event or comment that she made, and I just had it. And so packed up my stuff, got in my car, left and slept on couches. There was a very short period where I was homeless probably like less than a week. But the point is, like, even when I slept on friends houses, you know, you have that homeless feeling that like displaced feeling. By pure grace of God, I ended up going to college. And the whole time I'm, like, hanging on a thread. Emotionally, physically, financially, mentally. I'm just on a thread constantly. I'm in survival mode. I'm super anxious. I've got all this trauma in me, but I have no idea. What I know is like, I just got to survive and you know, pure, pure grace of God. I ended up getting a bachelor's degree, eventually a master's, but not before I realized that I was kind of forever going to be hanging on a thread if I didn't figure out a way to make money, to be very honest with you, to make money. Because being able to have more income got me off of like straight up physical survival mode and allowed me the space mentally and time wise and financially to be able to seek out services just to be okay enough to think about what happened in my life. So yeah, that's the synopsis of everything. But there's a whole lot in there and God is just all over everything. He literally took my past and sort of like slowly recreated this experience for me. Like he literally re raised me from the ground up. I'm talking really like spiritual things like bondage and just feeling like I'm in a cage, feeling like I can't talk, feeling like I can't. There's days when I would wake up and just stare at the wall, I kid you not, for like 4 hours just thinking I should really get up right now. And I just didn't have it in me to get up. Super angry, like drugs, sex, living with someone, alcohol. I mean, at one point there was this same sex attraction type of deal that it just wasn't me. And so just all these things were coming up. But God rerained. He reraised me in all of this. He showed me all these things, but not just the spiritual and emotional, the practical stuff too. He would send mentors around to help me in these things, but also friends who I would be really attentive. And I'd be like, she lives a really disciplined life, let me hang out with her. And I learned things like a cleaning routine and how to eat at the dinner table and no, you're not supposed to eat cereal every night in Quesadillas every morning, you know what I mean?

[Jemese]

Yeah.

[Patricia]

When I was younger, it was out of disrespect and obviously I repented from that. And I try my best to kind of like honor my mother and father. But when I was young, I'd be like, oh, I was raised by wolves. That's why I don't know how to do anything. I don't know how to eat, I don't know how to rest. I don't know how to do anything but work for my keep kind of thing. But God literally, and I say re raised me. Like, I just feel like he was like, let's start fresh again. And he just kind of showed me how to live a good life again. But yeah, he's been in everything.

[Jemese]

Yeah. And that just continues to remind me. I was actually journaling something out last night. It's Psalm 27 ten, when my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me. And different translations describe it a different way, but it is so beautiful and true to know God as our father and as our parent. And it sounds like he did show up that way for you.

[Patricia]

Oh, that was my verse. That exact verse was my verse until, gosh, maybe like five, seven years ago. Because it was like my dad, we got back in touch. He's a great person. He passed away in 2017, literally ten days after I got married, after my husband and I got married. And it was just this beautiful thing where he gave his life to Christ on our wedding night and we were with him. My now husband led him to Christ and then he passed away ten days later. And to me, I'm like, I know it was sad that he passed away. I know it's hard to understand for unbelievers or people who maybe don't have the faith, but to me, it was the most beautiful thing. I wouldn't have it any other way because the world is a distraction and there are so many difficult things. I know it's hard to understand for people who don't believe, but for me, it was just the most beautiful thing. Like my father passed away having given his life to Christ after 60 years of having the opportunity but not taking it. And also he passed away knowing that her daughter, who he didn't get to really raise, is being taken care of by a godly man who he approves of.

[Jemese]

That is so beautiful. I love that.

[Patricia]

Yeah, I wouldn't have it any other way.

[Jemese]

Yeah, that's even further proof that no situation that we go through is unreadeemable. Like, God will redeem your past. He will redeem those things that you think are just impossible. That is so beautiful. How incredible. That's such a blessing.

[Patricia]

It really is. And that's the best thing. That's what gives me the most peace, is like, I was by my dad's side when he passed away and I'll be with him again. We were going to definitely meet again. And to me, that brings me a lot of joy to know, like, okay, this isn't goodbye, this is I will see you soon.

[Jemese]

Right. And gives a lot of peace as well around that.

[Patricia]

Absolutely.

[Jemese]

So there's so many different directions I want to take this conversation. There's so much already. But one thing that I keep thinking of is forgiveness. Forgiveness. And I am curious to hear how did you walk through? Because listening to you speak like you haven't outright said it, I don't think yet, but I can hear that you have forgiveness towards how you were raised and all of those things. How did you get to that place where you have forgiveness? Towards the trauma, really? Let's call it what it is.

[Patricia]

Yeah.

[Jemese]

The trauma that she went through as a child. Can you share a little bit about that?

[Patricia]

Yeah, I mean, it was 15 years in the making, and I think because I've created these really strict boundaries with my mom, I think I speak with a lot more ease. But if we hop on the phone with her, it's difficult, and it's going to be I think it's a lifelong process sometimes of constantly. It's like sin. Once you become a Christian, and once you become you get baptized, there's never going to be a day where you're like, oh, I'm good now. I'm perfect. Not in Jesus. And I feel like this forgiveness piece, I can forgive, and it's fine. But as her behaviors come up with her comments or whatever, it kind of takes me back to that place, and it's like sin where I'm like, okay, well, I got to mentally go back and forgive again. But it was a very long process, like 15 years of when I was young. And I hope you can edit this out. If this is graphic, I would not dream well, sometimes I would dream this, but sometimes I'd be awake and almost like daydream, but it's not you think of daydream as a happy thing, but I would daydream ways that I would kill her. And that's really sad. Like, that's so sad. But that's how much anger I had in me of like, life would be better if she were just gone. And I didn't realize how awful that was. She had done some really awful things to me, just horrible things, starting when I was four years old and I was so young. I should have never heard those things. I should have never felt those things, seen those things. I should never been thrown around, whatever. But it was still sad, like, wow, I couldn't believe it. And so I went from that kind of hatred of her and not just for me, but how she treated my brother, my younger brother, which is really difficult, and I can forgive my mom, but still know that in a way, she's part of how his life became what it currently is. And so it's like this kind of like a dance almost, of like, how do you navigate those things? And one of the things I did for those 1015 years was I kept looking up the verse once I became saved, I kept looking up the verse, honor your mother and father. And I would look up different definitions of the word honor and what does it mean to honor, and are you supposed to honor them if they are not following God? And are you supposed to honor them if they're manipulative? I just didn't grasp the concept that God's word is perfect. And he says, Honor your mother and father. But I was like, oh, God, do you not know what she did I know your word applies to everybody, but it was just really hard to understand. Like, how could you ask me to do that? And how do I even do that? What does it even look like? I don't even know what I'm striving for. I don't even know what my goal is because I didn't understand what honor meant. And so for the first half of my life, like I said, I would be like, oh, I was raised by wolves, or I would make fun of the fact that my mom is mentally ill, like, she's suffering herself. And I went through a program called Celebrate Recovery, and I had already gone through some healing with God, and part of that I'll back up a little bit. Before Celebrate Recovery, I was just in my word. Like, when I got saved, it was just like this fire. Like, my eyes are open again, because when I was a little girl, I would pray the rosary, and it would be like, whatever, because it was with my mom, and it was just like, in that scenario, it was just this dead thing. Like, you just say the words, blah, blah, blah. You go to sleep while you're saying whatever because of the way she did it. But then I would go into my room, I would look out the window as everyone was asleep, and I would just cry to God, and I would just pray to him. And I would just be like, I just need you to hold me here, to not let me go insane. There's there were days where I would pray, like, God, just get me out of here. But more often, I would say, just don't let me go insane. Because I would feel, like, at the edge of my mind sometimes because she would accuse me of things, like, literally things like Levitation and you put a cup of milk there. And I'm like, no, I didn't. And she would blow up so much. Or, like, the horrible things she would say that happened between me and my father that never, ever happened. And she would just be really graphic, and her explaining them to me, I mean, it was just so horrible. And I would just be like, God, I just need you to not let me go insane. And one day, I was playing with my brother. I think it was like six or seven, maybe, but I just kind of fell into this trance. It was weird. It was like the world around me stopped. Everything seemed to get I don't know if it's gray or just out of focus, I don't know. But my attention was turned up to the roof of our house, and I saw Jesus just sitting there, like, watching over us, and that was it. I just felt this, like, he's here. And then that was it. When I was six, that was it. And so then when I came to Christ, it was like I had forgotten that. Like I had forgotten everything that he did. I went to college with all the stuff that I shouldn't have been doing. So when I came to Christ, it was like, you didn't forget about me. Like, you came back from me. You did forget about me. And so I was in the world every single day. And this was like years before Celebrate Recovery, and during those times, it was a constant lock myself in my closet, read the Psalms. It was a psalm, a lot of it. Read His Word, and it was just this, like it felt like I had to receive it, of course, but once I received it with an open heart, I could feel God, like, you're my daughter. And no matter what you went through, I was always with you. And you need to believe that, that I was always with you. And that was like, a huge part of healing. Like, I would go in there and it was like I would get loved back to life.

[Jemese]

Loved back to life.

[Patricia]

I love that there's no other way to explain it. And I'm like, that's crazy that I locked myself in my closet. There's nobody in here. Physically, there's nobody in here, but I feel more protected, more loved, more I don't care for than I ever did when I was in a house with four other people. It was just the wildest thing. So that was really important to actually experience love first, because I don't think I would even know what forgiveness looks like if I had an experience God's love. And also Gods, like, acknowledging what God forgive me of, because I had done some pretty crappy stuff too. God reminded me, I love you, but I need you to know it's not okay that you wish death upon your mother. I love you, but I need you to know what's right and wrong. And I'm telling you this and I'm convicting you this because I love you and I want you to be better than this kind of thing. So that was a huge part of it. First I needed experience love myself. I needed experience forgiveness myself before I could ever consider forgiving someone else. And the fact that the Holy Spirit was gentle enough with me and with all of us to love us first, to meet us where we are first before asking us to forgive. It's sort of like, his burden is light and his yoke is easy, I think the verses.

[Jemese]

Yeah.

[Patricia]

So that was the thing. It was always a very gentle process, and then eventually I went into Celebrate Recovery, and there's this inventory portion where it asks you to share how you felt unsafe, how you felt uncared for. And I never really did that. I was just angry, so I was just reacting. I wasn't ever really, like, processing. And so Celebrate Recovery kind of from a biblical perspective, helped me to process that and that was like it was really helpful. But if you were to ask me what was the most helpful, just a genuine, true, honest relationship where I'm willing to receive from Christ, that was the most helpful I mean, the most helpful thing. But I still didn't know what honor your mother and father was like, okay, so I want to forgive. I feel, like, lighter, but I wasn't 100% done, and of course, God knows that too. And so the next phase of it was, like, understanding her experience. I never thought when I was younger, I never thought about what a sad and torturous life it is to not know the difference between reality and the torment in your mind. And I think back now to all the times where she was hitting me or pushing me or just these horrible molestation events that they weren't sexual. It was like her trying to check to see if something had happened to me, you know what I mean? And it was, like, full of anxiety. It was just this horrible thing because the doctors had stopped checking. They were like, you have to stop doing this to your daughter. And so she took it upon herself to do herself. So it was really traumatic. But I got to a point where I was like, okay, I'm past a little bit of the hurt I feel the protection of God. And in that bubble, in that time where I felt loved, cared for, and protected by God, that's when I started to see, like, her life is so sad.

[Jemese]

I can stay this way. It sounds like the closer that you got to the Lord, the more he was able to show you things from his perspective.

[Patricia]

Yeah.

[Jemese]

So he was able to open up your eyes to yourself, first of all, the love he has towards you, the fact that he was there the whole time, he truly never would leave you or forsake you. And there's things that he keeps us from. We don't even realize that he kept us from it, but he protected us. But he also, beyond that part, started to open your eyes up and give you his eyes of compassion to see. Like, she was also going through her own torment and hell in her own way.

[Patricia]

Yeah, she was, and she still is. She still from that illness. But that was the biggest thing, and it's basically the same thing for my dad. Like, for years, I had called him a coward, and I had published this poem where I called him coward. And I just still to this day, I'm like, I thank the Lord that it wasn't a widely publicized thing. But once I met him and once God started showing me about my father, my father grew up in a house on one side of the street, and he grew up a quote unquote orphan. He had a mom but not a dad, and he always wanted to meet his dad. He always wanted to meet his dad and come to find out when he was six years old, he found out who his dad was, and his dad lived across the street with his own family and never acknowledged his son across the street. And so I'm like, wow, like, that's so sad. Like, now I understand that intense feeling of rejection for your entire life. It would be difficult to stand up to this very scary woman, my mother. And it takes a lot of confidence in yourself. It takes so much strength and courage and intensity to pull us from the household and raise us. My dad has the third grade education because he had to go to work to help his family. And so all those things, I'm like, there's no possible way. If I were in your situation, I wouldn't have been able to really do anything either. So when they stopped that restraining order against him, if I were in his place, I would do the same thing. I'd be like, I don't know what I can do. I can't do it. You know what I mean? And so it was just a lot of forgiveness on that side. And it was the same thing for my father and for my mother. Just figuring out, like, wow, my childhood was difficult, but with God, it's like, once I met Jesus, it was like it's a war story. Yeah, it's a testimony. Whereas thank God, for my dad, it turned into a testimony. But for my mom, like, she's still in it, and that's really sad. Every time she hit me, every time she did something, like, I started to understand, and it's not always this way, but for my mom, she did it out of fear that something bad was happening to me and she was trying to save me, quote unquote, which is like, it sounds really weird. It sounds really weird. But that was, like, her mental illness. And I know sometimes people do things with evil intentions, but I don't think her intentions were evil. I think she was just so scared and so out of control in her own mind that it drove her to these things.

[Jemese]

And also just me being, like, a therapist minded person, right. I don't talk about it frequently, but I do I do have a license as a therapist. And I think about, what did your mom go through growing up? You know what I'm saying? We don't have to get into all that. But I think about a person who is acting out in these behaviors. What was her experience like growing up? What was it like for her parents? And on and on and on down the generations? Like, people talk about generational curses and all this amount of things being passed on. I don't know. You just have to consider, like and it really reminds me of probably it's the most famous verse in the Bible, John 316. You really start to understand how it could be that God would so love the world to give his only Son. When we consider all of these terrible things people are going through, like, God is desperate to save his people, you know, and he will do anything to pull us out of these situations. And I know for someone listening, like, maybe it's hard to really wrap your head and your heart around that when you consider like, well, I'm still going through this. Are you in your situation? Patricia, you said your mom is still dealing with this. What does that say about the Lord's love if we're still walking through these situations? I know that can be really hard, but I just keep being reminded, and especially as I think of your story, that God's time is so perfect, his timing is so perfect, and he doesn't I think we shared this in the beginning of the episode. He doesn't waste anything. Like, he will use every experience for his good and for his glory. Our job is to just trust that.

[Patricia]

And lean into that amen and just continue. So in seed, there's times where I'll talk with her and she's very antagonistic. Like I'll mention she's fine talking about which should I go to, when should I get baptized? But when I tell her Jesus said and I'll read scripture to her, like, she becomes very antagonistic. But in my mind, I'm like, you don't have to accept Him right here on this phone call with me. But if that comes to your mind in those last moments like it did with my dad, then that's to his glory.

[Jemese]

It sure is. Sure is. I keep throwing out scriptures because I keep thinking about it. I keep thinking about it, but even that reminds me of that scripture that says, one sows the seed, another waters it, but God will bring the increase. And it's just like you share. We have got to just continue to sell those seeds and to continue to water and continue to pray. And something God is really just teaching me and showing me and even ministering to me is that sometimes we feel like our prayers aren't effective because we don't see anything shifting or we don't see the impact. But in prayer one time, he began to show me, like, no, our prayers are like tending to the soil that that seed gets planted in, or our prayers are like watering that seed that has already been planted. So we must continue to pray. And also, like you shared, continue to where it's appropriate to keep those boundaries. We don't have to let ourselves get abused or beat up. You know what I'm saying on the phone? There's a time to take that. There's time to know, okay, this is persecution. He told us this would come. There's a time for that, and there's a time to know like, no, I don't have to I love you, mom.

[Patricia]

That.

[Jemese]

Kind of thing.

[Patricia]

I love you from over here, right.

[Jemese]

And to love people from a distance. And I think with time and maturity, he kind of helps us understand the difference with that.

[Patricia]

Absolutely. And it's funny because since the last time we talked, I went through this trauma training and how we love, which is like, I'm sure you know all about this. I was just learned about it, like attachment theory or attachment styles and stuff. And maybe this is perfect timing that we're recording this today, but I had no idea how. I didn't really think of how much trauma had gone through and how, like, my body has hung on to it and how little things thank God for all his healing because it's helped me. But until we reach Jesus, like, there's going to be traces and just recognizing how I interact with my friends or with my husband, it's different for everyone from what I learned. But like, I have this way that I react to people and that it's slightly more difficult to build relationships or build friendships. But having that knowledge now of trauma induced behaviors or like triggers and things like that, I feel like I can manage my life better, my relationships better, and I understand why it is that I do what I do. Like, I'm not very attached to things or people. Like, I just out of sight, out of mind, or emotionally. I'm not as emotionally attached. And I always wondered why that was. And I'm learning that has to do some of it with my trauma, but now I can make a little bit more effort to engage and connect with someone emotionally. You know what I mean? So it's just been interesting to learn about how trauma affects who we become, and we want to sort of sometimes correct the coping mechanisms that we've created for ourselves and then use the word to kind of be like, jesus, how should I be coping with these situations?

[Jemese]

I'm sort of laughing internally because, yes, I am very familiar with the attachment styles and things like that. I'm actually moving through a course right now where we're diving in through secure attachment, what does it mean to be securely attached to God or how did our upbringing, etcetera, etcetera. So I think that's God being funny.

[Patricia]

In my 38 years 37. 38. I had never really learned about that until literally last week.

[Jemese]

Yeah, it's amazing. It's incredible. I think that there is a move of God right now. He just wants all of us to be so firmly and securely attached to Him, but backing up. If I can just be frank to say, like, we know that trauma does not come from God. We know that that's not from Him, and it's an absolute tool of the enemy every single time. And I have seen that if one of the enemy schemes is if he can put trauma on a person at a very young age. That's one of his manipulation tactics to shift the course of a person's life. And if we don't have proper coverage by our parents, and maybe our parents aren't securely attached in God themselves, or they have their own issues, or they don't know how to fight back, it just ends up creating this ripple effect. And glory to God that he doesn't leave us that way. He will reach us and he will keep pursuing us and it may happen to have to be again and again and again. If I'm sending people to us. Mentors or I don't know about you, but I know myself. I used to carry my Bible around in my would move to different places and take my Bible, but I would never hardly open that thing up. But even that's God, why couldn't I just leave my Bible at the last place? Like, no, I always took that Bible with me. And it's like God continuously is working to uproot that trauma and that pain. He wants us to bring that to Him because it's like his wages really are so much higher. He understands. He knows what our parents went through. He knows what their parents went through. And he like I used this word with reverence. But he is so desperate for his people to come to Him and come back to them, you know?

[Patricia]

Yes. He just seeks us out and sin brings all these evil things into the world, but God redeems them. I almost felt like, God, I'm and I know this is going to sound just bonkers, but in some ways I'm thankful for everything that happened in my past. It was painful in the moment, but if my life had been perfect, I wouldn't have had an opportunity to pray to Him, worship Him, love Him in the way that I did in those moments where I was going through suffering. And it makes the love story just that much more rich. And it makes a testimony like, I just have this like I do I feel like I've got this powerful testimony that I'm not in and of myself worthy of, but because of God, he turned what was so bad into something that's so beautiful.

[Jemese]

Yeah. And it's still very fruit today. I would love to hear you share a little bit about things shifting for you. And it sounds like they shifted quite dramatically. I would love to hear as much as you're comfortable with sharing how your husband came into your life, because I don't know what was our last conversation we had, but I think I remember you sharing like you never thought that it was possible to have that solid, firm, secure if you want to use that language, secure kind of relationship. Can you share a little bit of hope for our listeners around that subject?

[Patricia]

Absolutely. So I've got just an amazing husband. He's emotionally including to me, like, when we argue, we'll kind of like, have this little joke where we come back to each other within 15 minutes and it's kind of like a ha ha. We laugh about how silly we were. I mean, we just have this great relationship, and I would hear women talk about their great marriages and their great relationships, and I'd be like, that's not me. I'm too damaged for something like that. Too much has happened. I just didn't see myself in that white picket fence. It just wasn't the life that was assigned to me. And I just felt like it's never going to happen or whatever. So by the time I was 25 or something, I had a grad school, 24 maybe. I was just kind of dating around and it was always someone who I shouldn't have been with. I've dated a drug deal. I've dated someone who's in prison. I've dated someone who smokes weed all the time, goes to the club every Friday and thinks it's perfectly fine to leave his girlfriend at home while he goes out to the club with his voice. Just things I should not have been hanging out, people I should not have been hanging out with. And hopefully they found their way in life as well, but I just shouldn't have been where I was. And so I just felt like that was my life. I wasn't the girl who got the guy next door who was good looking and who parents liked and who whatever. And so I dated all these guys, and when I gave my life to Christ, I was like, okay, well, I can't be living with this person anymore. Yeah, I've got to get out of the situation. There's like a whole miraculous thing that he did in that situation, but he showed me that that wasn't the person for me. And so then I was like, okay, God, I'm praying now for a husband. Like, I don't want to be the cat lady. I don't want to be by myself forever. And I felt like that was going to be me forever. I was always going to be alone because I wasn't worthy of having someone who was kind of like a Christian and all that. And so he gave me this verse, and I feel like with me he always works and stuff that I'm like now. I'm like, trying to get away. And all the women in my church were like, I'm looking for my Boaz. If you read, like, everyone wants to be Ruth and you found Boas, and I was always like, anti everything, right? Whatever is good and whatever is the popular thing. I was like, so I was like, no, that's so cliche. Like, I'm never going to say I'm looking for my Bots. And I was like, no. What does God do? Like, someone says, you really need to read the Book of Ruth. It's really short. I'm like, okay, fine. I was going through the Bible and so I ended up on ruth. And so I read it, and I was like, I'm not going to look at it as this because that's so this and that. But I read it from the perspective of like, how can we find Jesus and all that. But as I'm reading it, this woman leaves her family. And then Boaz sees her. She doesn't see him. She's actually working in the field. Like, Ruth never said, I'm looking for my boss. No, she never said that. So now I'm like, okay. So every time I hear someone say that, that's actually the story, right? Her husband passed away. She went with her mother in law, and she was working the field. That's what her focus was. That's where her attention was. And then Boaz saw her, and he was like, I have seen what you have done. I have seen how you have left in our foreigner. You have left your family, and you're a foreigner in this country. And I have seen how basically your ethic, just what you've done, your story. But the thing is, she didn't tell him this. He saw it. And in that moment, I very clearly felt God say, you are not going to meet your husband in the normal way. Like, you're not going to meet hanging out and talking. He's going to see you from afar. He's going to recognize everything that you've been through. I'm going to show him that, and that's how you're going to meet your husband. And so I was like, cool, done. Never dating again.

[Jemese]

Yeah.

[Patricia]

So for five years, I would meet guys and they would ask me out. And I'm like, no thank you. And people would be like, you should do online dating. There was a point where my dad was like, are you ever going to get married? That's me. What's going on? God will provide. God will provide. I would just always say that. And people started to think I was like this weird kooky person who was like, God will provide. I'm not dating. But I had faith that what he said was true. And so five years later, on a date in sight, this pastor had asked me, she had asked me, do you date black people? And I was like, what kind of question is that? Yeah, that's a weird question. And she's like, well, I just want to know my friend, or my friend, it's like, this guy who was he's awesome, he's great. And they were really close friends. And I was like and I literally thought, this is him, because I didn't know him or whatever. And so I was like, yeah, I'll go out with him. Because I was like, this sounds falls right in the linement. When we went out, that didn't end up working out. And I felt so rejected. I was like, why not? Like God.

[Jemese]

What happened?

[Patricia]

This is what you told me. So I ended up asking him like a year later or something. And he was like, he told me something. I don't remember what he said, but he told me something like, very nice. And so I was like, what? I went back and read the Book of Ruth because I was like, no, if you told me it's true. I went back and read the Book of Ruth. And then I read that there was a first of kin that didn't want to purchase a property because of the liability. And this is where I was like, okay, I get it. In my heart, I felt when I read that, I felt like that first person wasn't willing to take on the hard emotional work that's necessary. I was like, Shoot, that sucks. But I still felt hope because I was like, but there's this other person. There's boaz in the story. I just felt so strongly that God was not going to let me fail. He wasn't going to let things go. And so then I was like, okay. And as soon as I let that go, there was this guy, my now husband. He was in Bible it's like the personal development Bible college type of thing. I was going to Bible college, and I didn't know this, but I was leading a group. I stood up in the middle of this event and I was like, hey, if anybody wants to join the group, blah, blah, blah. And that was a day when later on my husband tells me that when I stood up, he said that he saw me and there was, like, this glow around me. I don't know, but he said that there was this glow. And then God had told him, like, that's your wife. And I was like so I go up, I say that thing that night. They pray for him, and as they're praying for him, I don't know this guy, but God's like, Pay attention. And so I'm like, okay. So I pay attention, and they say some things over him. I don't know. It just feels strong. I can't explain it. And so I was like, well, do you want me to tell him something? I don't understand what this feeling is. I don't know what's going on. And then, very long story short, he ends up asking me, hey, let's go to the park. And I'm like, okay. Hesitant, because I was like, this is not how God right, but I didn't know any of the other stuff. So we go to the park and he gets into the emotional stuff with me. It's like the first day we hang out, and I'm like, crying. And he's like, I feel like you have this wall up, and God has sent me with the hammer to take this wall down. I just remember the story about the next of King and how he wasn't willing to do the emotional work and how he's this guy and he's like, your wall is so high, no one can get close to you. And he's like, but I want it to do the work.

[Jemese]

Oh, wow. Glory to God.

[Patricia]

Who are you?

[Jemese]

What the heck?

[Patricia]

And then after the park, we go to Chickfila. Of course. Chickfila.

[Jemese]

That's good too.

[Patricia]

And we finished eating or whatever. We're talking, and I can just feel it. I'm like, he's my husband. I can just feel it. And then he goes, okay, now I think you're ready to hear it. And I was like, oh, my gosh, he's going to propose right now. This is our first day. He's going to propose. And he's like, I just feel like your heart is open now after we've spent these few hours together. And I just feel like I have permission to tell you. God told me that I'm going to marry you. And I was like, I know. What do we get started? What do we do? Like, what's our next step? And so we dated. He asked my dad to Courtney, and eight months later, we were married.

[Jemese]

Oh, that's so beautiful.

[Patricia]

Yeah. So as awkward as I am, as bad as I am making these dating relationships and navigating that world, like, God still was like, no, I am not letting you go because you're surrendered to me. And it's not just like, oh, I'm just going to give you this. No, it's like you have been faithful. He had been through me with growing my faith, with becoming faithful, with focusing on work, with surrendering my life and truly believing that what he has for me is better than what I can get for myself. And he was like, I see this. And here is like, I'm not going to let you go through life without husband.

[Jemese]

Yes. I love it. So this is the story that needed to be told. This is the story. Yes, he is. He's always better. Always better. And I just feel encouraged to tell somebody. I know that our culture makes it seem like Christianity is just so basic and blah, blah, blah. You got to go with the flow of culture. But no, there are still men who are willing to do it God's way. How much better is it to go through it God's way? Not giving your body away, hoping that it turns into something. But God has a way and a plan. And for us women, I mean, God traditionally, if you look through the scriptures, there's nowhere where a woman of God let me say it like that, there's nowhere where a woman of God is pursuing her man and going to be the one to do all the initiation. We see some examples of the other way around. But now God wants us to wait for our man. He will send them. He will send them at the right time. And your story is a wonderful example of what it looks like when two people are surrendered to God and allow the Holy Spirit to truly lead them.

[Patricia]

Absolutely. And on his end. There was this other young woman, very pretty. She was going on mission trips, and he really liked her. We shared all that. We're very open. He liked her, but she had at one point turned him down, but they were still friends and this and that. But then there was a point where God was like, even though he liked her, he was still surrendered to God. And God was like, she's not the one for you. She's a wonderful woman. Right, but she's not the one for you. And the fact that my husband was like, okay, I'm going to go for what you have for me. Had he pursued her or looked for an imitation of her, if that door closed or whatever, that would have kind of changed everything that would have happened. So it's also merit to him for being surrendered and seeking out God's will as well.

[Jemese]

Yeah, and being willing to wait. It's not always comfortable to wait on God's timing, but his timing is perfect, and we don't want to miss what he has for us because we got impatient. Those are just invitations, too. And I'm speaking to myself right now here, too. Those times are just opportunities to press in and wait with them, because whatever he has planned is so much higher. I can only imagine what he wants to produce through your marriage. God loves marriage. She loves marriage, and it's like, well, God loves marriage. There's a reason why we see Satan try to break up marriages, because two surrendered to God. People are so powerful.

[Patricia]

Amen.

[Jemese]

So powerful. Coming together in agreement, coming together in prayer. I mean, come on. I can't begin to imagine, like, the future you guys are going to have together. You guys have been together for quite a while now.

[Patricia]

Five years. Five years. And it's this thing, like, if there's a woman out there listening who's like, I don't know, but the guy I'm with is pretty cool, but, you know, like, you just feel convicted that he's not the one God has for you. Let me tell you this. It wasn't until these last five years, and I'm sure we'll get to know this the rest of our life, but I don't think no one I've ever met besides Him was able to, like God kind of loved me back to life in those moments, but through Him, he opened up my world to just a whole other level of life from someone in the flesh. Right. Like, he just brought me back to life in that sense of relationships, so I'm able to have more fruitful relationships with everybody because of how God's love shown through Him. And only he had what I needed in that moment. And there are things that he really needed. He wasn't able to get his GED for ten years, and we got married, and that year, I think that year, the next year, not only did he get his GED, but he excelled at it. Now he's getting a bachelors and he's aiming to get a masters right after this. And I just believe that if you feel convicted that this is not the relationship for you that you're currently in, god has a better plan and it's so worth the wait, because only he knows who's the best person for you because he created each of you.

[Jemese]

Yes. That's so beautiful. Thank you so much for that. I just love to hear the Holy Spirit speak. He speaks through his people. Praise God. Oh, my goodness. This was such a fruitful conversation. I call him Holy Ghost. Bumps or goosebumps? I call them Holy Ghost bumps. Like, I got those full body goosebumps. Just thinking about all of this, it's so beautiful. I want to ask you how our listeners can find your work. But before I do that, I always like to end these episodes with a similar question. So I'm going to ask you, what would you tell someone listening today who was struggling to really know Jesus as being real, as being their Savior? What would you tell someone, the woman listening who didn't know Him?

[Patricia]

Yeah, I think what came up today just kind of hit me of like, yeah, this was a big one. Lock yourself in your closet, lock yourself in your room where you can be 100% yourself and get into his word. And some recommendations are getting into the Psalms. If you're going through a hard time, I believe it's Psalm 18, where as you pray it, it's like talking about how God is your defender and about how angry, like a holy anger, like how angry he gets that you are being treated the way you are or that you're feeling the way you are, that you're oppressed the way you are. I feel like the Book of John is really good, especially the first few verses are just amazing to kind of open our eyes up. But the Psalms is where you feel God's tangible love for you. So that's what I would say, is to just lock yourself in your room when no one else can see you, when you're not worried about what you look like or what you're going to say or how what you say will be received, and then be 100% honest with Him and read through the Psalm.

[Jemese]

I love that because you're right. He already knows. He already knows what's in your heart. He already knows how you're feeling. But he wants that relationship. He wants us to come to come. And I agree, the psalms are great. There's just no human emotion that's not expressed in the Psalms. There's no life situation that is not somewhere in the Bible to give you wisdom and hope and advice. So I love that. Thank you so much. Now what you share with our listeners, how they can find you and your work.

[Patricia]

Yeah. So probably the first place and the one place to go is I started a podcast. It's called The Uncommon Career and it focuses on finding your career and things. Of course, it's called all the Practical Career Stuff, but I have this sort of like, lean towards doing things in faith. God has asked me to leave certain positions before I have something else lined up. And now God will tell you different things and do your prayer life, and God will guide you in different ways. But for me, it was like these faith leaps. So I would leave my job without something else, or I'd leave my job in search of something else. And then God would like, miraculously just kind of bless this obedience for that reason. And also because I think I mentioned at the beginning. If I didn't find a way. For lack of a better term. To make more money so I wouldn't be on survival mode. Then I wouldn't have the capacity and the ability and the space and the time to physically spend in the Bible. To physically go out to church events and to grow in community and to find healing and all these things. And so to me, that ability, that mobility, that social mobility, to get a better paying job, to be in a place where you, like working, like all of those things to get into where you're calling is, those are really important things so that you can live out the life here on Earth the way it honors God. And so I help folks with that career process so you can find me at the Uncommoncareer.com. Again, I got a podcast, I'm working on a class that's at a more affordable level. And then I've got the one on one coaching for those who want a more individual attention.

[Jemese]

Feel wonderful. That is just awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that. I will have all of that information down in the show notes for our listeners to easily find you. And I just want to speak a blessing over you, Patricia, a blessing over your business. And thank you so much for sharing this awesome transformation story of hope in Jesus. Your story is actually proof that God does see his people. And so I want to just speak that same blessing into the life of the one listener today who is needing to hear this, who has maybe been waiting for a sign. This is it, girl. God sees you and it's time to come home. There is no greater decision that you can make than the decision to follow Jesus. If something that you heard today stirred your heart or stirred your spirit, and you know that it's time for you to stop running from God, or maybe you just want to recommit your life to Him, I invite you to say this prayer along with me. Now, this prayer isn't some kind of special formula, but rather God sees your heart. So if you can say this prayer from your heart and mean it. Know that the Lord will save you, because the scriptures tell us everyone who calls in the name of the Lord will be saved. So pray this with me. Lord Jesus, I believe you are the son of God. I believe that you were crucified for my sin, and I acknowledge that I am a sinner and I need a savior. I need your grace. I'm ready to stop running. I'm ready to give my life over to Holy God. I'm ready to be the new creation in Christ, whatever that means, according to Your will. Lord, I'm coming today, and I'm laying down my past. I'm laying down everything before You, Lord, and I'm asking you to take it that you would dwell in my heart forever, Lord Jesus, teaching me how to walk with you, teaching me how to talk, teaching me how to live. For you have shown me that I have the Heavenly Father who loves me, who was willing to parent me, who was willing to raise me up as a child of God. So I confess, Lord, my need of you And I give my life over to you completely, Lord, asking you to be the Lord of my life from this day forward and forevermore, Lord, lead me in the path of righteousness for Your name's sake. Give me wisdom, give me understanding, give me the knowledge that I need, Lord, and walk with me every day of my life in Jesus name, amen. And if you just said that prayer, welcome to the family. All right, family, that's a wrap for this episode. I would sure love it if you would go and follow me on Instagram at Jamie's. That's where I post updates about this podcast. I provide words of encouragement, all kinds of fun lifestyle. I just really want to build community over there and actually talk to you guys. So go follow me on my socials and may God bless you and keep you until I see you. And next episode.

Scripture Referenced

Psalm 21:10

Exodus 20:12

Resources

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💁🏾‍♀️Keep the conversation going in the Daughters of Abba FB Group

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