Seeking Success and Looking for Love
By Annika Young
The 700 Club
CBN.com -As a divorced mom, Susan Jaramillo knows it’s her job to get her son and daughter, Tyler and Cameron, ready for what lies ahead. “I always tell them, ‘you’re my children; God has only given me-given you to me for me to help raise you and send you back out.’”
But before Susan could show them how to navigate life, she had to overcome years of guilt and shame. “I spent almost my whole life hiding. And those closest to me are shocked to hear some of the things I was doing.”
Her Mother was a hard working, single mom and often did without. But what Susan missed out on most, was her father’s love. “I remember as I grew up always wondering where my father was and who he is and, you know, I would ask my mom and she would get very upset with me and tell me that was none of my business.”
She decided her life would be different. “From a young age I was determined that I was going to be successful and that I was going to make it. Because I thought money was the answer to success; the white picket fence, the big house, the nice cars, you know a husband that loves me and the 2.5 kids.”
She went to church, got decent grades, and excelled at sports, to keep up the appearance of success. “I was just wanting to be embraced and just loved and upheld and told that I was beautiful and told that I was smart and pretty and I could do anything that I set my mind to.”
College was more of the same. As she juggled a full load of classes, a social life and a number of dead-end relationships, she would have to face the consequences of her choices. “My junior year in college I found myself in an unexpected situation and I was pregnant and not knowing who to go to, too scared to go to my church because I was afraid that they would judge me. I was just afraid that I would bring further shame to my family.”
Susan convinced herself that ending the pregnancy was her only way out. “’I’m in college. I have my whole life ahead of me. My career's ahead of me. And if I choose to have this child, my life will change. And how am I going to afford the child? And, am I going to get married? Am I going to have to quit school?’"
It wouldn’t be as easy as she thought. “I think in that time when you're making that decision when you're in that abortion facility - and I knew what I was doing was wrong. I thought it would be relief, but it actually brought more trauma into my life and turning more to the drugs and the alcohol to soothe the pain and this void. There's a void that I don't know how to explain.”
After college Susan found the success she always wanted as a sought after interior designer. She was also into more toxic behavior. “That adage like, ‘you're carrying your luggage…heavy, heavy burdens. Heavy burdens, a broken heart over and over and over again. (I was) always disappointed in myself, trying to act in public like I had it together.”
Underneath her pain was a desire to be healed. And even though she had kept one foot in the church over the years, she had all but given up that anything or anyone could help, even God. Then she heard a guest speaker at church. “She came and gave this message on God's love and healing and I thought, ‘What God are they talking about? That's not the God that I know.’"
Still, Susan wanted to hear more. The two met for lunch. “After a couple hours she said, ‘Can I just pray with you?’ And I thought, ‘Sure, you can pray with me. You know, what's the big deal about a prayer?’ I'd prayed my whole life, you know, so I said, ‘Sure.’”
The woman started praying about things Susan knew she hadn’t told her. “I had never told her I had had an abortion and when she said that, now once again I got my eyes closed. I'm just praying and realizing how powerful this prayer was. And I knew slowly I was being released of these strongholds, generational curses, these spiritual pieces that I had dabbled in that had overtaken my life but I didn't know how to get rid of them.”
She started repenting and accepting God’s forgiveness. “Please forgive me for the things that I've done. Please forgive me. And He did. I knew at that moment that I had been set free. I felt different. I just knew I had been born again. It was such a sweet, sweet place to be. I cherished that time.”
Susan admits life hasn’t been perfect, but she’s grateful that God has blessed her with two children. “Lives are transformed through Jesus' blood on the cross and I'm thankful for that because He has brought me through this place of transformation. When you lay it all down at the feet of the cross and you say, ‘come and take over my life,’ He does.”
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