Kat said, "How has love changed your life?"
I am The Treasure Box. Look inside and you will see many treasures. At first the box was filled with worldly treasure, costume jewelry that looked good and expensive; now it is not. It has been replaced with true Treasure.
I was born in Tampa, Florida and raised in Venezuela. My father was a Latino with earthly desires for gambling and women. My mother lived in a foreign country, holding a full time job while trying to raise five children on her own. Whenever they separated, we moved away, once to Spain for a year, and twice to Ohio.
When I was twelve, they divorced. I had always lacked self-esteem, but now I could not relate to people anymore, especially boys. I did not receive the emotional support that I needed from my parents. I felt like I was on my own, and a huge, craving hole in my heart begged to be filled.
I started to fill my treasure box with boys. I wanted to be loved, and I looked for it with members of the opposite sex. If a boy kissed me and touched me, then I felt accepted. And there was a chance that I was pretty, or he wouldn’t have been attracted to me.
I then filled the treasure box with drugs and alcohol. It felt so good to escape! And finally I had a crowd that accepted me. But, as time went on, I hated myself more and more.
At the age of 17, I accepted the Lord as my Savior but never went to church or read the Bible. Two years later I moved back to the states and continued my life of drugs, alcohol and sex, still searching for the one thing that would fill up that hole in my heart.
The inevitable happened. I got pregnant. I was going to get married but my boyfriend’s parents were against it so I did something that I will regret for the rest of my life. I had an abortion. Even writing about it today fills my heart with sadness. I had a child growing within me, and I got rid of this little human being because it was the easy way out. I did not take responsibility for my own actions.
I filled my treasure box with adultery, lying, cheating, stealing, and hate. I hated myself and the world. I fought everybody and lived a selfish life. I longed for purity, it was such a strong desire, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Some missionaries got a hold of me and I joined a church that was steeped in works-related living. If I was good, I was rewarded. If I was bad, I was punished.
Now I had a treasure box full of religion that I lived for 20 years. But I was still empty.
I married an angry, controlling, broken man who abused me physically, emotionally and verbally, just as I did to him. We had three children. My self-hate continued to grow. I believed some of the things he said about me and started to feel like I was a horrible mother, wife and person. I just couldn’t get it right.
We divorced after 12 years and I rebounded into a marriage that was worse than the previous one. We had a daughter. After receiving within me the ugly words he said to me, I thought I was the scum of the earth and honestly believed that the world would be better off without me. I would write hate letters to myself and hurt myself for punishment. I wanted to die. I believed that my children didn’t deserve a mother like me.
After about two years, we divorced, and I jumped right into another marriage. This third husband was also very angry and controlling. We had a son.
I had become a full-blown co-dependent person. One who works for love. “If I do nice things for you and forsake my personality for you, you will love me”. It is a form of controlling other people’s behaviors. And I was very good at it, too!
I now had a treasure box full of children, ex-husbands, horrible behaviors and habits, and I still was not happy. What was missing?
In January of the year 2000, I found the answer. It was Jesus Christ. I received Him into my life again; this time I gave Him full control. I let Him be the Lord of my life. A difficult thing to do for someone as controlling as I was.
God and I emptied out the treasure box and filled it up with Real Treasure. He put in Love. His Love - a pure Love that is unconditional. A Love that said, “I love you even as the mess that you are. You are a treasure to Me and I delight in you.”
Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV) says,
“The LORD your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
I was not alone. I never had been alone. Even through my most horrible choices in life, He was right there with me, arms open wide and waiting for me to accept His Offer of Love. It took a long time to accept that Love. But I finally did.
Into my treasure box God, put Forgiveness for every wrong I had committed that hurt Him. EVERY sin!
Isaiah 43:25 (NIV) “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.
He filled my treasure box with Acceptance. He accepted me as His very own. No matter what I looked like on the outside or even the inside, I was accepted by Him!
Romans 8:1-2 (NLT) 1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
He then filled my treasure box with Healing. He worked hard with me to realize that I didn’t need drugs, alcohol or men to be fulfilled. He was sufficient for me. He was all I needed. He personally worked with me to slowly clean up the messes that I had created through my choices. I am still a work in progress, though. It’s not the end, but I have my Best Friend to lead me and guide me through this process.
One night, I imagined what I will do when I meet Him face to Face. I will get down and wash his feet with my tears and wipe them dry with my hair, my kisses never-ending on those scarred feet. Scarred for me. His hands would be next as I lovingly hold them and touch the imprints left by the nails. The nails He suffered for me. Then I will dance with Him, looking into His eyes and falling deeper and deeper into Him along with my love. Will He sing? I believe so, and I have a feeling that His voice would resonate in my soul, like a fine-tuned guitar string. Just the thought of being with Him leaves me in tears. He is the Love of my life; my Redeemer, my Savior, my Healer.
I have a treasure box on the corner of my desk. In it I have little cards that describe each and every Personal Touch He has given me over the years. I wish I could tell you in one writing all the Personal Miracles He has performed in my life. But it would take up a book!
And that is why I call myself the Treasure Box. I was empty and tried to fill that box with my choices, my treasures, what I thought was good for me. It wasn’t until He got a hold of me that it has slowly been filled with Real Treasure; His Personal Involvement in my life; His Personal Love and Redeeming Grace.
2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”Today, along with my God, I walk with a husband who God chose for me, a wonderful Englishman with whom I share a business. My five beautiful children walk with the Lord, thanks to His guidance and because of His help. For the first time in my life, I love myself and know that God thinks I am beautiful. I am just the way He created me. I am accepted. He is my Source for everything, and I pray that He will become yours, too!
May the Lord bless you with the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation that you, too, will get to know Him better!
Kat C - The Treasure Box