Tuesday, October 11, 2016


I constantly feel like I'm too much and not enough.

If I was more patient, I'd be a better teacher, girlfriend and friend.
If I was more secure, I'd be a better teacher, girlfriend and friend.
If I wasn't so emotional, I'd be a better teacher, girlfriend, and friend. 
If I wasn't so trusting, I wouldn't ever get hurt.
If I didn't find trust so difficult, I wouldn't hurt other people.

This list makes me laugh and want to burst into tears. Because it's true. If I was totally different...I'd be totally different. I wouldn't be who I've been created to be. Some people might prefer this other version of Maria...but I don't. 

I want to be exactly who I was called to. Even if it's too much and not enough all at the same time.

I hate that I'm angry. No let me rephrase that. 
I hate who I'm angry with. I hate that I'm angry with God. 

I hate that He allowed things to happen before I had choice.
That a lot of my scars, if not most of my scars could have been so easily avoided. I hate that because of these scars, it's affected my current relationships. 

I hate that it wasn't my fault but I blame myself. 
I hate that I'm pushing good things away because I think they're going to go away because there is no way I'm good enough. 

I hate that I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect. 
And then I put that pressure on other people. 

I came across this phrase earlier this year 
"Do not abandon us now that we are fighting for ourselves".

I've been given my voice back.
And I hate that I think that one emotional moment, one heartfelt prayer, one time of pouring my heart out, will fix everything. 

Because it doesn't. As those closest to me can attest, we've talked about how emotional, insecure, and hard it is for me trust more than once. And most of the time, it's been met with so much grace and love.

But people wear out, they aren't God.
Because the one that I'm angry with is the only one who can make me feel whole, complete, and loved. 

Yes people can give you these feelings for a moment, but the love of the Lord washes you clean.
And I don't feel it at this moment. 

And I feel like I'm under attack from the enemy. 
I feel like this experience will either make or break me. 
I am not okay with numbing silence resting on my soul.
I am not okay with losing the blessing God has blessed me with because of my past.
I will not allow my past to define me. 
I will take back what the enemy has stolen.
I will find my faith no matter how hard it is because I am worth it.
I am worth fighting for.
I am worth losing sleep over.
I am worth being pursued.

And even more so, because God is worth it. 
I declare my victory because in Christ, I can do anything. 

I generally post encouraging things, and I feel like this isn't the most encouraging. But it's real, raw, and authentic. And sometimes we need to know that those around us don't always have it all together. That life is hard. That things can hurt us. But we have a choice. My choice is I will not let anything define me except what God says.

 I am broken, but I am not destroyed. In fact, I'm being rebuilt. 

Monday, December 14, 2015


It is so hard for me to write. Mostly because it reminds me of how far I still have to go. More often than not, I feel completely inadequate. In fact, at this exact moment, I am laying in bed, with a box of pops (the cereal) next to me. I'm not even eating them anymore. I'm not sure why they're still there. So not classy.

And, I feel as though I sound like a complete basket case every time I write. Because I write about feelings. Because I'm a woman. And I have a lot of them. I do so many things wrong. And as previously mentioned, I have more feelings than I'm comfortable with.

I'm incredibly guarded.

I cut people off when they get too close.

I don't believe true love exists for me.

I feel as though I am not worthy of a "good man".

My past dictates my future.

I'm insecure.

I am a chronic over thinker.

I can be overcome with shame and guilt.

I give myself too much grace.

I feel like I have to be extra perfect, in every area of life, because I'm a teacher. Because if I'm not, then I have no business being one.

I am both too hard and too easy on myself.

I could go on, but I've probably made you feel uncomfortable enough already.  My point is, I far from perfect. I KNOW who I am, but I deeply struggle with believing it a lot of the time. Old habits die hard. And the voices...the chatterbox...doesn't go quietly.

I read a book recently. Just kidding. I listened to a book recently called "Crash the Chatterbox" by Steven Furtick. Life. Changing. One of his points was the reason the Enemy's voice is always so loud is because he has to scream to get our attention. And the reason the voice of the Lord is so soft and gentle is because He is close. He is always close.

I am not okay to be left the same. I always want to better.

I am not the most gifted writer, teacher, or even the best friend all the time. I struggle. But I also win. And I have a story to tell. And my crown slips more often than I choose to admit - but it has recently come to my attention that I have my Father's heart. And that means more to me than I know how to put into words.

So I can choose to be the person I feel like I am...see uncomfortable part of this post. Or I can be the person I actually am, and remind myself who my Father is:

There is NO ONE like You O God!
You believe in redemption.
You believe in beauty!
You believe in ME!

You formed me with purpose.
You gave me the tools to deal with my pain.
You are the game changer.
You believe in me.

There is unending love in You.
No man can take that from me.

I declare my victory! I am NOT a slave!
I am a beautiful, free, PRINCESS.
Daughter of the King, the Most High.

You are the One who reigns and rules with majesty...
You alone are my refuge and strength.
In You I will find my comfort.
You heal my desires - to make them match Yours.

You redeem my life.
You restore time.
You saw every mistake.
You see every failure.
You see the future sins.

And You still choose me.

And Lord, when I don't feel this way...when it seems like this is all untrue and a gigantic lie...help my unbelief.
Heal my heart.
Make me new.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


This life is full of heartbreak and pain. Pain that will drawn you in, and cause you to drown. I've learned in the recent months that pain is a necessary and healing part of true breakthrough. However, it is imperative to have pain with a purpose.

Parts of my life have hurt so bad. It's been numbing. It's been ongoing. It has caused life choices with serious consequences. But it is not permanent.

I would look at people who seem to have experienced breakthrough and wonder how that happened for them. What did it take? What did it cost?

I am the kind of person that requires a 12 step program to do anything. I excel at following directions.  If you say something will work (like life wise, I'm not a sucker for infomercial products....usually) I will probably try it. I'll read any book you suggest...eventually.

I'll cry. I'll go to the alter. I'll say the right things. And those things are good and useful, but they don't guarantee change. 

When I talk about breakthrough, I mean that I want to stop being hung up on my pain. I want to have situations that have affected me for the entirety of my life... NOT affect me anymore.

True breakthrough starts when you acknowledge the lies you've been believing. 

I used to think that if I gave up my pain - it wouldn't matter anymore.

That those situations, those people who hurt me, would kind of get a "get out jail free card". That I would be just kind of laughing at the past and turning a blind eye toward it.

I thought that letting go would be too hard, too painful. 

I thought I was willing to do whatever it takes. 
I wasn't.

Part of me wanted to hold on to those people, because I still wanted to hold on to that pain... I thought it validated me. 

I didn't actually want it out of my life. 

When I was a kid, I wanted to play the piano. But I didn't want to do the work. 
Now, I can't play the piano. 

I also believed that one day I would wake up and I would suddenly be in a different spot. 
Like I'd suddenly be mature.

But I've come to realize that unfortunately, that ain't how it works. 
If I don't put work in - I won't get to that place where I want to be. 

It's not enough to just acknowledge the lies, now you have a choice. 

Once you realize all the lies you've been believing it can be easy to feel shame, guilt, and like an idiot for not being smarter. 
That's stupid.

You can either choose to replace those lies with new lies...or replace them with truth. 

I wish I was done. 
Like okay there you go - breakthrough accomplished!! Thanks for playing! 

Retraining your brain takes so much work. It's about every thought. It's exhausting. 
But it is so worth it.

It is worth every tear, every hard night, every anxious thought.
Because Jesus is better.

I am happy to say that I am choosing to believe truth. But I would be remiss if I didn't say that it still hurt. But it was a different hurt. It was/ is pain WITH a purpose. Pain without a purpose results in despair. There is no hope. 

Pain WITH a purpose is all about hope. 
I had to take all those hurtful/ heartbreaking situations that affected my life since I was a baby and take them to God. Yes, I had to relive them. I think I cried more getting through it than I had before. I had to identify the root of the issue. I had to ask what He thought about MY situation. Not a basic "do you think ____ is bad?". 

Duh. Of course He does. 
But in my breakthrough, I learned that He was always there. 
Every painful memory, He gave me hope. 
He showed me how He was working. 
He replaced heartache with truth.

He restored my beauty. 
He showed I am worth it.
I am worth pursuing. 
I am loved.
I am whole.
I am chosen.
I am set free.
I am not bound by my past.
I am a powerful woman of God.
I am clothed in strength and dignity.
I am a force to be reckoned with.
My security belongs to Him and NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE IT. 

True breakthrough comes when you allow JESUS into every part of your life, every part of your mind, and you CHOOSE to act on what He shows you.

As Joyce Meyer says, one of the biggest lies of the enemy is that it's too hard.
It is hard. But it's not too hard.

God is a good God, and He allows us to make our own decisions. 
As graphic as this is, He won't rape us with His goodness, forgiveness, and mercy. 
We have to choose it. 

I absolutely love the way my friend Tiffany Myers put it. Read her blog post on the love of God, how HE sees you here. Please. You won't regret it.

I don't care what happened to you...whatever pit you are in by your own doing or someone else's....Jesus can handle it. 

And the beautiful thing is, He restores you to better than you ever imagined. 
Grace can be yours, friend. 
Choose it. 
Choose to have pain with a purpose and walk in your destiny. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015


There are so many words that are descriptions but not identifiers. 
We tend to use these "descriptions" as part of our identity.
At least I do.
Maybe you think you don't. But you're lying. 
Because if not now, at some point you did.

Skinny. Fat. Tall. Short.

Abused. Broken. Defeated.

Those words may describe who you are or who you've been but they are not your identity. 

Personally, I've been all those words. Some people believe I'm tall, others think I'm short. I've been both skinny and fat. And I've been abused, broken, and defeated. 

However, I've also been told all my life that I am beautiful. 
And part of me believes it, and most of me doesn't. 

That word may describe me, but I haven't made it my identity.

Because I have been realizing that my identity and your identity has nothing to do with what we think about who we are. 

But everything to do with what God thinks and says. 

And it's my choice - your choice to either believe it or continue to believe the "descriptions" we've placed on ourselves. 

I don't completely believe in everything God says about me. But it's a process. And I am not where I used to be. 

I can look at the ugly things in my past - and they don't hurt anymore. They do not cause the pain they used to cause. The only reason is Jesus. He heals and redeems all things. And though I don't completely believe it YET... someday I will completely believe that I am everything that God says I am. 

That is the heartbeat of this blog. The process. It can be painful, hard, and trying. But it is beautiful. And the process is what makes the end result so beautiful and worth fighting for. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015


I wish I wasn't such a bonehead. 
It's hard for me to trust You because it means I'm not in control.

Although, I'm not entirely sure why that bothers me.

I don't do a great job on my own.
I have failed relationships and friendships. 
I lose my patience quickly.
I forget my "resolves" 20 minutes after I make them.

But somehow even though I suck at controlling things - it makes me feel better.

Like if I know what's coming or how something will end I can prepare myself and then I won't feel it as much - but it goes both ways.

It might not hurt as much but it also won't be as joyful.

Sometimes trusting You also feels like I'm doing anything.
Like I'm not being proactive. 

Kind of like I walked into a party and I'm the first to arrive and I'm just waiting for everyone else and it's super awkward. 

I've also noticed that going after You with everything I have is one of the hardest, best, and somehow easiest things I've done. 

You bring joy and You bring hope

In the days to come I have a feeling it'll be easy to feel like there is no hope.
But, nothing compares to the joy that's coming. 

I don't need to live in fear. I don't need to be scared. There's no reason for anxiety or really anything except peace.

Jesus is in all the details. God is smarter than I am. 

You are the greatest adventure. You are the one who makes my soul dance. Your plan is smart, organized, and perfect.

Your love is extravagant. 

Truly the best is yet to come!! Thank you for Your perfect love!! I like You and I love You! 

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.
1 Peter 1:6

Friday, June 26, 2015


Today, was my very first day of summer. It officially marks the end of my first year of teaching. 

It was so hard

I didn't expect this. 

They didn't teach me this in college. 

No one prepared me.

I never expected to feel this way. 

I wish I could show you them. 
They're beautiful. 
I wish I could adequately put into words what I'm experiencing.

No one prepared me. I wasn't told. 

I didn't expect to drive home from their end of the year concert and cry so hard I had to pull over. Because I wasn't ready to let them go. 

I didn't expect to think about them constantly. Wonder if they're safe, fed, and happy. Even on weekends. 

I didn't expect to be told "I HATE YOU".
I didn't expect to read a student's journal and walk away quickly because I was tearing up. Because he said his dream was for his family to see him walk across the stage in his cap and gown someday. 

I didn't expect my heart to be ripped out when I read the words "I wish Ms. Trela knew that I don't lie unless it's to protect my sister. And sometimes I lie and say we slept at home when really slept at my mom's boyfriend's house."

I didn't expect this.

No one told about the heart break.

No one told me how it feels on the last day of school when you realize that your time is up. That they're going to walk out that door and you may never see each of those kids again. That your chance to impact them on a daily basis is finished. 

No one told me how often I'd lose my patience. How often I wouldn't say things right. 

No one told me the power of an apology of an adult to a child. 

No one told me how many times I'd laugh because they're ridiculous. 

No one told me how many times I'd wonder if I'd made the right choice when I became a teacher; how I would hate teaching my first day. 

I never thought I'd be so tired of them by the end of the school year. How I seriously considered bribing them if no one said my name or needed me for 5 minutes straight. 

I didn't expect to read my kids something I'd wrote and look up and see every single one of them crying. I never thought I'd miss them the way I do. 

I never expected to make so many mistakes. And yet, also have so many victories. 

It's the strangest thing, love. 

I didn't realize what a responsibility it would be to care for, nurture, and teach God's children. I honestly didn't think I'd be the first one to tell some of them that they're heroes. That they are believed in. That they are loved. 

I never realized how much I would need to trust God with my babies. How thankful I'd be that He's a good and loving Father.

At the very beginning of the year, a very wise women prayed over me and said she hoped I would realize what a privilege it is to be called a teacher. 

I think I get it now. 

It is a calling. It is a passion. And it is a complete joy and privilege. 

I'm so thankful. 

To my students - if you ever come across this...I loved every moment.
Because I met you. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


I have no catchy intro to this. But I don't think I usually do, so theres that. As usual, I'm a bundle of emotions. And to be completely honest, I've been in tears so many times this week. Which so isn't my thing.

But see the thing of it is, I'm learning I'm actually a basket case. Which may not come as a surprise to anyone. Except me.

I've believed so many lies for SO many years...some my entire life...that silenced my voice. I became passive. And God showed me that I have to change my thinking, RENEW my mind. So I got serious about it. And can I just say - this has been the most exhausting week I've had in a long time. As soon as I made that decision and acted on it, it's as if I've been under constant attack. Waking up at stupid hours, tossing and turning, hearing lies being yelled in my ears, constant panic attacks. Something in me told me to keep going. Thieves only come to loaded vaults!! And I don't say any of this for your sympathy or to make myself look awesome. My point is that GOD IS SO GOOD. Because slowly but surely, in the midst of all lies, there's that still small voice telling me the truth. And in a WEEK, He's done miracles in my heart.

JESUS CAN BE TRUSTED. With my whole heart. With all my dreams. All my desires. Even the ones I really want.

HE DOES WHAT HE SAYS HE CAN DO. He loves so perfectly I can't stand it.

One of the only things I'm completely sure of is that I know absolutely nothing. Even the things I'm good at, theres so much I don't know. It's a lie to believe that I'm defined by anything other than Christ! It's a lie to believe that fighting is too hard! That it does nothing!! If you get nothing out of this, just know Jesus is always, ALWAYS worth it...that God is at work!!!