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  • Tania Santana

Tania's Story

Tania Santana with her daughter Andrea

When I came to skyline I was so confused about my relationship with Jesus. I was walking alone struggling with feeling unloved, abandoned, and discouraged. Feelings I grew up struggling with and the ones I based my decisions on. Feelings I blamed my parents for. My family was also in the middle of a crisis that was about to tear us apart. My father was living in the Dominican Republic with my mother who had early onset Alzheimer’s. My sister did not agree with the way my dad cared for my mother, so they battled it out in court. My relationship with my father was suffering and my mom being sick just made it worst. Everyone was struggling to deal with my mom’s illness. No one spoke openly regarding their feelings so they grew into resentment bitterness and hatred. I pushed my parents out of my life because that seemed easier than facing the issues. During the court proceedings I was forced to choose a side. Reluctantly I choose my Dad because the word of God called for me to honor him. Due to my choice people turned their backs on me. There was so much turmoil, arguing, and gossiping that it was sickening and my relationship with my sister suffered greatly. I could not foresee it getting better.

As I began attending skyline the Holy Spirit began to work on me. Join a life group, get connected is what I heard. I cringed at the idea of talking to strange ladies about my life. Jesus knew my heart, he knew what I needed and I needed to stop walking alone. Life group was life changing. To be able to feel comfortable enough to share the things I had locked away was freeing. To know these beautiful ladies did not feel the need to judge me was awakening. I always felt like a sinner and never good enough for Jesus to love me, but Jesus used life group to start healing me. He used every single heart in life group to show me love and I began to feel his love upon my life and that’s when I knew I was forgiven. When I made that connection I began to apply it to my family. I realized that my job was not to fix anything, but it was to love them and I was to give my feelings to God and let him heal me. It was not easy I remember moments of humiliation, moments of anger, moments I wanted to give up and do it the worldly way, but I knew I had to put my faith in God and his promises.

Serving was placed in my heart and one evening during life group Marilou mentioned she needed help with concierge and I immediately jumped on it. In concierge I began to learn about my servant heart and how much I loved it. As I discovered more about Jesus, my heart craved more. My next step was being baptized. What an experience to look back at my life and see how much it had changed. It did not change because I was controlling it, NO! , it changed because I choose to run towards Jesus and follow him with all my heart. By now My family had come to an agreement on my mother’s care. My sister and I were on our way to reconciliation. I had forgiven my father for things I had been holding onto . Because I removed my feelings as the center of everything I did and I replaced it with Jesus, I got to witness God’s love for us. Wow! What I got was a restored family better than it was before the Crisis. My Dad got his daughter back, I got my sister back and I became daddy’s little girl.

My next step was Growth Catalyst, which had a major impact in my life. On April 2015 my best friend, my anchor in tough times, the only person who understood me, Pablo was diagnosed with Colon Cancer and 7 months later he lost his battle. I did not mourn immediately instead I Became busy with life. 4 months later my mother was put on hospice and I had to travel to the Dominican Republic to be with my father and her. During this time , I loved her, I advocated for her, I prayed tirelessly by her side. I saw flesh and spirit at war as she took her last breath. I found my courage and strength in God. I became the one to turn to for answers, answers I did not know I had, answers only the Holy Spirit could provide. I felt privileged and honored that I was chosen for such a delicate task by my Heavenly father. I did not have my Skyline family with me but I had the your prayers and I knew I had your support. I WAS NOT ALONE!

The experience was overwhelmingly emotional and left me in a dark place. Losing two important people in my life resurfaced lies I had buried. I felt discouraged, abandoned, unloved and angry. I fought not to be vulnerable because to me that was weakness. The difference this time was that I knew I was the daughter of a king and part of his family. So I leaned on him for answers not on my flesh. Jeremiah 29:11 told me that His plans were to prosper me not to harm me and I held on to that promise. 2 Corinthians 12:9 told me His grace is all I need. that his power works best in weakness.” So I worked through the lies I was believing without taking my eyes off of Jesus and resting in him. I overcame a battle that would of destroyed me if I was walking alone and making decisions based on feelings. Today turning back is not an option and Jesus remains the center of my life.

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