My Testimony Series: God Showed Up |

My Testimony Series: God Showed Up

November 29, 2018

How did I get here? It’s a long story and it requires discussing the presence of God in my life and how he showed up. Originally, I practiced “Occasional Cultural Catholicism” to having a deep annoyance with Christians. I arrogantly considered them all uneducated and ignorant. I became a New Age-yoga-doing-juicing-buddha-loving-crystal-obsessed-sage-burning-hippy.

My spirituality was like jumping from lily pad to lily pad. I once read a book called “Traveling Mercies: some thoughts on faith” in college as a requirement to my first semester English Lit. class. Annie Lammott, the writer of this book describes her faith walk in this way and it resonated with me for nearly 15 years. Truthfully, I learned, until we start seeking God, we don’t really ascend in understanding, but just hop from one lost place to another. (Matthew 6:33 / Matthew 7:7-8).  My sense of reality was more of a stumbling and less of a sensuous hippy dance as I jumped from pad to pad trying not to get wet, but somehow stumbling and falling face first, almost drowning. Somehow trying to convince myself that I was receiving “enlightenment” and “healing” and I was going deeper with my connection to the “universe”.

Starting in 2006 I worked at a variety of spas in Napa Valley, St. Helena, and Sonoma for a few years. I did not believe I had any surmountable skills that made me special in any way as a massage therapist. I showed up, I did my job, I collected my pay and I left. I was surrounded by what felt like fake spiritualism and fake sense of ethics that got under my skin and rather, felt like a rash most days. I then renounced massage therapy and massage therapists and just the spa industry all around for a few years, for a variety of reasons.

In 2012 I relocated to Sacramento to solidify a relationship that I believed was headed for marriage and to find my freedom from familial troubles. I found a job and settled quickly. In two weeks that relationship unexpectedly ended.  I moved in with a friend. Our house was then robbed of EVERYTHING, computer included, which I needed for my new job. The next day my contract was cancelled since I had no access to a computer. 9 Days later my car was obliterated in an accident, and my cell phone also was permanently missing.  Thank God I did not die. In just a short time I had no family I felt I could call, no man, no computer, no phone, no car, no job, and no home, as of a few weeks later was about to lose a place to live too. (Job 1:21) It is my understanding now that when God takes so much from you so fast in what seems crazy circumstantial timing, it means he is preparing you for His Glory, for you to have a testimony, or another anchor in your relationship with Him, if you will. (Psalm 30:5) Lastly, He will give you better and more than what you had prior and will have purpose far more than you could ever really understand. Essentially, his miracles can be radical and messy. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) (1 Thessalonians 2:12) (Isaiah 35:1-4)

I had lost my voice from the anxiety and had only 2 weeks left to find a new place to live. I felt hopeless and lost. One afternoon, I felt the urge to shower for the second time that day. I was willing to let the hot water boil my skin off. Maybe it would kill me. Maybe it would make me feel something. Maybe it would just calm my nerves. Suddenly, I was provoked to speak (Matthew 10:20):

“God. I can’t handle any of this. Just take it all.” I said half hazzardly. I surprised myself and didn’t really know if I believed what I said or not. I was pretty desperate to ask a God I didn’t believe in for help. I was no believer of any kind. I believed Jesus of Nazareth was a  teacher and that anything to do with ANY religion was not to be given a second thought.

Who am I to say something in the manner that all of those people in the majority of my life who swore they were “Christian”? How strange that I said something like that so sincerely that I would have only associated with synonymous with ‘typical backstabbing extremists’ as of my opinion of the time.

As I stepped from the shower onto the cold tile floor. I instantaneously was given the third greatest gift God could give you. The first is His Love. The second is your salvation through His son, Yashua Hamachiach, Jesus Christ. The third is Shalom….His peace that surpasses all understanding. Real Shalom, you don’t even think about it in the moment. There is so much peace that even your brain comes to a calm and you have one track clarity. The clearness, the clarity, the instantaneous acceptance that all was ok and was not NOT going to be ok….came upon me like a sheathe. I did nothing to receive it or ask for it or even put it on. It wasn’t even a choice to trust God, or so I thought. He just covered me in Shalom so He could co-labor with me and through that was going to expose His true nature to me (Numbers 6:24-25). Then I knew what to do. Because then he gave me the fourth greatest gift….a direction to obey….and obey I did, because WE had work to do. (Isaiah 40:31) (Psalm 90:17)

Many things happened in INCREDIBLE detail for the next few weeks. The race began. (Hebrews 12:1) (Proverbs 31:17)

I contacted my old school in Los Angeles and asked them for advice given my situation. They allowed me to perform 125 hours of custom home schooling in a week and sent me my certificates immediately. (Psalm 90:17)

I applied for my state license. It would have normally taken 6 months to receive it. I received it in DAYS. I landed my first full time job in 6 years… in less than a week (Hebrews 4:12). The relief I felt was unbelievable and in JUST the nick of time because I had mere days to find a place to move to. (Habbakuk 2:3)

Then, God worked to redeem my family. My mother called THAT SAME DAY. She offered me her heart, a home, and a vehicle to drive to get to work. God moved in her during the time of our separation, clearly. To this day, I’ve seen so much change in my mother. I know one day this will be a part of her testimony and I look forward to it. I moved home the next day. We have an amazing relationship now and I wouldn’t change how it happened for the world. Not only did God bring me and my mother together again, but the relationship is deeper and real and filled with so much more. (Colossians 3:14)

After six months or so, my season of working with this massage facility in Folsom in which I worked full time, came to an end. I obeyed the voice again. It told me to leave THAT DAY. It told me all day, as I refused to be obedient until I could not take it anymore. I quit at the end of my shift. I never returned. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) (Now, I am not going to lie to you, I do not know if his was God telling me to leave, or if it was the enemy and I listened to the wrong voice…and then God used it in my favor. I only say this because God’s voice should give you Shalom and not tension. One day I’ll hope to understand further. Whatever the matter, He WORKED in my favor. (Matthew 11:30) (Isaiah 43:19) (Deuteronomy 35:1)

A week later….I was no longer filled with Shalom, but doubt and fear and anxiety. Cursing myself for leaving a full time job with no prospects. (Proverbs 18:21)

I printed a stack of resumes and on foot I hunted for work for a couple of days in downtown Sacramento. One evening I passed by a window with a sign that said “Massage Room for Rent.” I called the number. Signed a lease, then went home as a business owner. Kind of. I only had $42 in my bank account. I don’t know what I was thinking except “this is going to work”. (Isaisah 41:10) (Mark 5:36)

The next day and for 27 days, I hustled. I did everything I could think of to raise the money for my first months’ rent…you know, WITHOUT a job…and somehow, I got through the expenses of the first month. This shalom and focus never left me. (1 Samuel 25:6)

By day 27, I had my first client. Six months later I was seeing clients FULL TIME. This is unheard of and I do not recommend anyone just do something like this. It was NOT normal and it was NOT me who did it. God aligned it all. But not only does He make a mess, put it all in order, but He multiplies His blessings. (Genesis 1:22) (Jeremiah 30:19)

At the time I was not business savvy or experienced in any way. But God was preparing me through tasks. He gave me inspiration, courage, peace, excitement, and all kinds of ideas that were blended with my own creativity. I had a PLAN but it was just not written down by me. (Jeremiah 29:11)

One day, while sitting in a diner on the corner, I was scrolling through my apps and articles on my iphone. For some reason, I googled myself. I came across some weird article on yahoo regarding the “Ten Best Spas in Sacramento”. I scrolled through, and I saw me and my practice mentioned as number 7. Not only did I find this crazy that I was on this list….but that I am not a spa, I’m just…little old me and my little massage practice. I was floored, “God, look what we did together!?” (1 Corinthians 3:9) (2 Corinthians 6) (Romans 8:28) (1 Peter 5:10)

Suddenly I felt a wave of head to toe chills crashing over me. I was emotional and felt like I could really breath for the first time in years. It was as though His arms wrapped around me and welcomed me home. That was when I KNEW He was with me through each little and big thing and it was all Him.  (Matthew 8:3) He does not like to impose on you, but show you through the small and the big that He is real. Because He is a gentleman (Luke 11:13)  and a respectful, loving, good Father who wants your love if deep down in your heart you want to receive His love and His help (James 4:2). We love because He loved us first, so it is fitting that we will love Him when we realize even a small portion of the depth of His love for us. (1 John 4:19).

That was the realization that I was never alone. If you read back on this story, you will find that EVERY SINGLE TURN was not coincidence. The timing was too perfect….. and really, all it took was me asking my God to just take my problem and fix it. (Acts 1:7) (James 4:2)

He took me to this place to get my attention, by hitting rock bottom so I had no choice but to rely on Him. Even if I didn’t believe. This goes to show, even when you don’t believe in our Father, He still loves you and blesses you and chases you because His love is so deep that we could never understand its intensity. (1 John 4:19). Except, He will leave the many to collect the 1. (Matthew 18:12). Deep deep DEEP down, I must have always wanted Him. He saw my heart, and he pursued me and gave me the secret desires of my heart: the Salvation of Jesus Chris, and my Husband. (Psalm 37:4)

After my practice was moving and a tumbling… I asked God for a deal. I said “Look. You’ve proven yourself. You’re real. I give myself you You. If you want me to go to India, I’ll go to India. If you want me to go to Africa, I’ll go to Africa. I don’t WANT to go to those places, but I’ll do whatever you want. However, if your plan is for me to have a husband and a family….could you send him to me really soon? I think I’d ready to be with the RIGHT one. I’ll make you a deal, God. Let it be the NEXT guy or the guy RIGHT AFTER that. That way, no matter what, I know I am really close and I can have no fear that my husband is coming soon. (Luke 10:27)

Well, sometimes the “evil one” throws you a curve ball so you think it was a blessing from God. But the reality is, that God will knock it out of the park and turn it around in your favor. I dated a man that I met two months later. He was great, until things were not great. That’s a bad story that I will not tell. I broke up with him with no fear, although painful. But its ok for things to be painful. It wasn’t going to be him and I wanted who GOD wanted for me. To my surprise, my husband WAS going to be the man who I met recently as a professional referral from that previous man. He believes in God. He brought me closer to Christ. Coincidentally, it was prophesied over Him several months prior that his wife was “being prepared for him” and prepared I was becoming. Another long story. This man taught me who Jesus really is, or as much as I could grasp. He was fashioned to be my husband even before I asked God to provide me the next or the one “right after that”. My husband told me he loved me within 3 days. I took 4 days to come to my senses. We’ve been together since and currently married since June 7th, 2018. God held a promise that I asked Him for. He gave it to me swiftly. (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

We did not live together prior to marriage. Not because it was intentional. For six months we could not find an apartment or anything for us. We let go of that idea. We got engaged. After two months, we went to Tahoe for a weekend getaway. Three days later we got married. 2 days later I saw my first client since I got hitched. She said she finished moving into a new house. The next day we met with her landlord to take over her rental. We moved in together 2 weeks later. God blessed our marriage with a home. (Isaiah 55:11)

You see how He works? He chases you on His time and for His purpose (Psalm 139).  I am still trying to understand what He has planned next. But He gave me my practice, my family, my husband, and my interdependence of an amazing Father. (1 Chronicles 29:13)

There is so much more to say, but for now, I think this abridged version of my crazy story will suffice.

Follow me on Youtube as @jungleandgrace for more personal testimonies or on my video feed on this website.

May God bless you with His Righteousness and His wisdom in such a way that it shakes your core. You are loved, and you are important. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14). He loves you, and I love you too. Shalom!”

Christina Acosta

About the Author

Christina Acosta

Massage Therapist. Youtuber. Blogger. Christian. Entrepreneur. Wifey and Bonus Mom. Plant Junkie. Cat Lady. Donut Enthusiast.

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