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What does getting-in-the-game look like for me?

Ten years ago, I was at a point in my life where I was focused on climbing the corporate ladder. I was in the game! I had the Latina flare and knew what it took to play the game well. But, unfortunately, I was focused on the secular game. Everything I did was structured around proving my performance and creating an infrastructure in my life that allowed me to check the boxes of a wife, of a mother, and a corporate boss lady. The game I was playing seemed like I was winning from the outside, but from the inside my joy and desire to live out my God-given purpose was deteriorating. How could that be? I was married to an amazing man with two amazing boys and working at an amazing company - I was valued and cared for in every worldly way, yet there was something desperately missing. Somehow, I had become the master of proving to the world that I was winning at life.

Many disappoints flooded my life – I had conflict, I had illness and I had loss. None of it made sense, but I now see how the Lord was rescuing me and crafting every single step to grow my faith. The rituals of religion I grew up with in my catholic faith were not enough, the struggle led me to open my heart in complete surrender to trust Him with my future. I needed to re-wire my thinking and my strategy because it was not about winning with my capability, but winning with my availability to my Savior. The light bulb turned on and I finally saw that in God’s eyes I am a beloved daughter who is shining His light in the midst of the mess. So much happened and the difficult and overwhelming moments continued, but the way I reacted to the many balls in the air was now different. I began to the get in the game for the Kingdom of Christ. Over and over I used the shield of faith and sword of the Spirit to persevere and remain steadfast in the tough.

Then, almost three years ago we moved to rural Cape Girardeau, Missouri from Cincinnati. For the first year here, I lived in a pity party of everything I was missing – our church community, the city life and even just a Chipotle burrito. The victimization mindset had overtaken me, and the worst part was I had no self-awareness and was clueless that I was grieving the loss of my community and everything my husband, my four children, and I had built in the previous 15 years. I vividly remember going to my husband one night and his powerful words flipped the script: “Erika, home is HERE. Embrace the change, stop being a victim.” Yikes.

As I humbly accepted the truth from him, I decided to go all in and live the country life in CapeG like it was my forever home. Getting in this NEW game required me to generously give my time and invest in people around me. I started to lead a women’s small group, became involved in our children’s school, saw my work at P&G as a Kingdom assignment, volunteered at A&F ministries, and hosted many meals in our home.

I began to feel abundantly blessed. How did I get there so quickly? Well, giving is a kingdom principle, so when we give in some way, our Heavenly Father pours in that much more. Luke 6:38 unfolded before my eyes…”give, and it will be given to you”. It didn’t mean I was perfect, but I became aware of my temptation to move into the victim mindset and in every area of my life when I began to drift towards it, I used worship and thanksgiving as my weapons. I learned to use worship as a way to hold my thoughts captive. My husband and I even hosted a virtual worship session for our local Christian school during quarantine, which is something the victim mindset never would’ve unleashed in us.


The perfect neighborhood or the perfect community is not what it is about. It’s about being audacious in our love of Jesus. The more we love Him and go to Him with our imperfection, the more He is able to flip the script to things to showcase that which is true, noble, pure, lovely, and admirable. Philippians 4:8



 


Erika is the wife of one adventurous warrior for 15 years, mama to 4 kingdom arrows (ages 3-12), Procter and Gamble manager for 17 years, and ambassador of truth and grace to many hermanas(os). Above all, a daughter of the most high King made on purpose, for a purpose. She was born into a family with hard-working, Mexican immigrant parents who settled in the Chicago area where she was raised. She lived in Cincinnati, OH for 15 years and has been in Cape Girardeau, MO for 3 years.

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