– MARIA MONTES –

I want to share my miracle with you, so that you can have the FAITH OF A
MUSTARD SEED, and truly know how much God LOVES you. He wants to give
you the desires of your heart, despite how you may have messed up. He is a
forgiving God who wants the best for us, and His love covers a multitude of sins.
From the outside it seemed I had a pretty perfect life growing up. I had everything
money could afford, made good grades in school, both of my parents were still
married, and I had lots of family and friends. However, there were some events,
which little by little, formed a gaping hole in my heart. These things began to
shape my entire young adult life, in ways I would have never imagined. I rebelled
behind the scenes, found my worth and solace in the arms of my boyfriend, and
began to drink at parties.
Fast forward to my 18 th birthday, I had received a full scholarship to TCU.
Perfectionism is a typical behavior of those who have childhood wounds, and I
was the epitome of an overachiever. I was on the Dean’s List, was an officer of
my sorority, and volunteered at church. I had hidden my wounds very well. But
suddenly in 2001, my some events ensued and my perfect world was shattered.
Practically overnight I became, a part time parent to my sisters, one of which has
cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, I didn’t seek God’s help during this time. I guess I
was angry at Him and blamed Him for what was happening. I had also never
really been taught what a true relationship with God was like. I was working and
going to school full time. I turned to all of the wrong things, like partying and
drinking to numb the pain and stress of it all. My grades started slipping and I
found myself searching for love, once again, in the arms of a man. Needless to
say, I was an emotional mess. I ended up failing out of TCU. I didn’t make the
GPA I needed to receive financial aid and all of a sudden had $30,000 in school
debt.
Throughout that time, even in the midst of my sin, I always felt that God was
tugging on my heart. I couldn’t fully enjoy any sin I was engaged in as I always
felt His voice saying, “this is not where you belong.” We sing a song here at
church that says, “Oh no you never let go; Lord you never let go of me.” This lyric
means so much because He truly didn’t let me go. God had better plans for my
life. I just didn’t know it yet.
After I left TCU, not a day went by that I didn’t think about school and how much I
had failed. Years went by and I cringed every time someone asked what year I
graduated or what my degree was in. I just kept hoping that one day I could save
up the money to return. I worked hard and paid off $20,000, but I still had
$10,000 more to go. I attended Christian counseling to help me deal with
everything and joined a Bible study with my sorority sisters. The Word says, “You
shall overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of your testimony.” After

hearing my girlfriend talk about recommitting to her purity, I made the same
decision that night. I renewed my vow to the Lord and to the teachings I had
learned as a child. My father took me to catechism and Catholic Church where I
learned about God. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way they should go
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” I thank God that I also had an
uncle who taught me about salvation because even though I rebelled for a little
while, now I know that I will never again reject God or His love.
In January of 2012, I joined the most amazing church and began to learn how to
live for Jesus, and not just wear the Christian label. I was welcomed and loved by
everyone the minute I arrived and saw the dedication and love these people had
for the Lord. It truly inspired me. I wanted more and more of Jesus. He’s so
addicting, isn’t he? So I started attending church and serving the Lord
wholeheartedly. I lost my job that February and God provided despite the fact
that my bills outnumbered my expenses each month. I continued tithing because
I knew that God’s promises were true and that He is able to do “…exceedingly,
abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine,” as it says in Ephesians
3:20. I share all of this not to brag, but to show you that at one point in my life I
was in the world and was very selfish. Once I turned my life towards Christ and
began helping others, the game changed for me and I realized that if we love
God, we will obey Him.
This is where the story really gets good! The Lord does work in mysterious ways.
One day my roommate gave me a book titled, “See You At The Top” by Zig
Ziglar. If you don’t know this author, he’s a very successful businessman and a
very strong Christian. In the book, it mentioned joining a Toastmasters club to
become a better speaker, so I decided to attend a session at TCU. That
particular day, the meeting was cancelled and I thought to myself, “I guess I need
to go to the Registrar’s Office while I’m here.” At the very moment, I ran into a
mentor I used to have who worked at TCU. He asked what I was doing on
campus and I said to him, “I’m trying to come back and finish, but I don’t have
any money.” He told me to give him a visit. From that point on, I did nothing but
focus on getting back into school. I filled out applications, appeal letters, applied
for all kinds of loans, and even attended a tuition-assistance program at
Workforce Solutions. But you see, you are not able to obtain a loan for school
unless you are enrolled. I could not enroll as had a $10,000 hold on my account.
It was a Catch-22. I began to feel hopeless, but my roommate Maru continued to
push me to overcome the obstacles. Everyone at church also continued to pray
for me weekly, and I kept repeating to myself, “With man this is impossible, but
with God ALL THINGS are possible.” Amen!
After being denied for the loans and not really seeing any way out, I remembered
that I had never gone to see my mentor. I made an appointment with him, but
when I arrived, he said that he said he was not sure he could help, but he would
try. Nonetheless, he suggested that I speak to someone higher up about my
situation. I thought to myself, “yeah, right, what could they possibly do, allow me

to enroll, but then how will I pay for it?” Right away, he called his office and told
the secretary to get me in. The clock was ticking because I was trying to get
admitted for July and only had three weeks to do it. The secretary wasn’t in, but I
felt that still small voice say, “Go on over there now.” So I did. The secretary
greeted me graciously and looked at the his calendar and said, “Honey, I’m sorry,
he’s leaving out of town tomorrow and is booked until school starts.” The entire
time I was listening to her, I could hear him in his office typing away. I whispered
a small prayer, and then she said, “Hold on, let me see if he’s free now.” I walked
into his office and the first thing he said to me was, “I’m sure I can’t help you, but
tell me what’s going on and I’ll point you to the person who can.” My heart sunk,
but I began to tell him my story anyway. Immediately, he got on the phone and
started calling Financial Aid. They verified all of my data, the appeal, and my
degree plan saying that I only lacked 7 hours to graduate. All of the sudden, I
heard him say, “Well we’re going to pay off the $10,000 for her, can she enroll if
we do that?” I was in utter disbelief. He emailed Financial Aid and told them to
remove my hold. Just like that, God wiped out $10,000 worth of debt! I gushed
and thanked him, but I still don’t think he will ever really know what a miracle that
was in my life. God is SO GOOD, isn’t he?
Little did I know, He wasn’t finished with me yet! I was still on the hook for $9,000
to finish school, so I made an appointment with Financial Aid to see how I could
try to pay for the rest. You see, when you have a hold, you then have to prepay
for your next semester’s tuition. The next morning I was so nervous, but still in
shock of what God had done. I got a phone call earlier that morning saying that
Workforce Solutions would not be able to help me with tuition at all. I was a little
bummed, but then they mentioned that they would be able to pay for my books.
I was very grateful for even the smallest form of help.
When I got to TCU for my Financial Aid appointment, the advisor told me, “Well it
doesn’t look like you qualify for much, even though you are unemployed. Let me
talk to my Director. Can you give me 20 minutes?” During that time, I prayed and
just hoped that somehow, I’d at least be able to qualify for a student loan. She
came back into the office and said, “Well, I spoke to the Director and we’re just
going to take care of the rest of your tuition with a grant. Unfortunately, the only
thing we can’t help you with is your books!” Can you believe how amazing God
is? I sat back bewildered at what God had just done. God had wiped out $20,000
in a matter of three days. There’s something so special about three days, isn’t
there? The crucifixion, death, and resurrection! All of the struggles I had gone
through… the heartache, the disappointment, and the bad decisions. He used it
all for my good and His Glory.
I am happy to say that I completed my degree on my birthday weekend of August
3, 2012, and I could not think of a better birthday present from Jesus. I walked
the stage on December 15, 2012 almost 100 years to the day of my abuela’s
birthday. It was her sacrifice to bring her family her to the US that allowed me to
achieve this goal. I still stand in awe of how God blessed me that season in my

life. All glory and honor and praise be to Him! From then on out, I surrendered my
life fully to God, and have never looked back. I used to think, “Well that will never
happen to me. Others do so much good in the church, and I’ve done so many
wrong things in my life.” But I’m here today to tell you that God is just waiting.
He’s sitting there patiently, waiting on you to come to Him. He wants you to have
a daily relationship with Him, not to get something, but just to love Him. My life is
proof that if you repent and truly “delight yourself in the Lord, He WILL grant you
the desires of your heart.” You can have a miracle, too. Believe it, declare it, and
start living your life for Him and Him only. I promise you, in faith, because I have
experienced it. Your life will never be the same. Surrender today, surrender
whatever circumstance or sin you may be in. Just let it go, and give your life to
Him. In the name of your precious son Jesus, Amen.

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